ELECTRIC VEHICLES: The Department of Energy offers a $2.5 billion federal loan to a joint venture of General Motors and South Korean battery maker LG Energy Solutions to finance three battery-pack gigafactories. (E&E News, Canary Media)

ALSO:
• The United Auto Workers’ president says union representation at large battery manufacturing plants is crucial for the organization’s future. (Associated Press)
• The average lifespan of combustion cars will need to shrink to 10 years in order to reduce emissions in line with Paris Agreement goals, researchers find. (Axios)
• General Motors launches a website to answer customers’ electric vehicle questions, including via one-on-one tutorials. (Axios)
• Amazon begins deliveries in its new all-electric Rivian trucks. (GreenBiz)

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WIND: Oil and gas executives voice support for the Biden administration’s offshore wind development plans in the Gulf of Mexico, saying they could provide jobs for displaced drilling rig workers. (Washington Post)

SOLAR:
• Solar industry employment rebounded last year from pandemic lows, with jobs increasing 9% nationwide from 2020, an industry survey finds. (news release)
• A 500 MW solar farm in western New York — on track to be the state’s largest — secures a critical permit from the state’s energy siting board. (Buffalo News)

CLIMATE:
• The Biden administration promises to unveil new policies to curb wildfire risks and address extreme heat this week. (E&E News)
• The Biden administration outlines plans to plant 1 billion trees, using infrastructure bill funding to tackle a longstanding reforestation backlog. (The Hill)
• In Pennsylvania, a judge reinstates a prior injunction barring the state from entering the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. (Bloomberg Law)

OIL & GAS: Future presidents are likely to face the same high gasoline prices plaguing the Biden administration as the U.S.’s refining capacity declines while its consumption holds steady. (Politico)

UTILITIES: Leaked records show a political consulting firm working for Florida Power & Light purchased a controlling stake in a media outlet and let utility executives review and influence coverage; an FPL spokesperson says the documents were “doctored.” (Orlando Sentinel)

GRID:
• Grid operator MISO approves a $10.3 billion grid expansion to help move clean energy throughout the Midwest, including 18 high-voltage transmission lines set to come online beginning in 2028. (E&E News)
• Rolling grid blackouts are growing increasingly likely across the U.S., including in Detroit where some residents contend with multiple outages a year. (HuffPost)

CLEAN ENERGY: Burlington, Vermont, is already powered by 100% renewable energy, and now works its way toward a net-zero by 2030 goal. (Next City)

STORAGE: Three battery storage companies secure major investments despite rising inflation and prices. (Canary Media)

COMMENTARY:
• Lower natural gas and clean energy prices and other regulations suggest coal will continue to decline despite the Supreme Court ruling against the EPA’s regulatory power, an economics professor writes. (The Conversation)
• An opinion writer considers how to talk about extreme weather with climate change-denying relatives. (New York Times)
• An Alaska conservationist urges the Biden administration to reject the proposed Willow oil drilling project in the Arctic, saying it “represents an existential climate threat.” (The Hill)

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Kathryn Krawczyk

Kathryn brings her extensive editorial background to the Energy News Network team, where she oversees the early-morning production of ENN’s five email digest newsletters as well as distribution of ENN’s original journalism with other media outlets. From documenting chronic illness’ effect on college students to following the inner workings of Congress, Kathryn has built a broad experience in her more than five years working at major publications including The Week Magazine. Kathryn holds a Bachelor of Science in magazine journalism and information management and technology from Syracuse University.