Editor’s note: U.S. Energy News will not publish July 3 and 4; we’ll be back Wednesday, July 5.

CLIMATE: Wildfire smoke blanketing the Midwest and Northeast and another deadly heat wave in the South offers a preview of hot, dry summers expected to come with a changing climate. (Inside Climate News, Associated Press)

ALSO: Florida and Kentucky both experienced devastating flooding last year, but the average Kentucky homeowner received a far lower federal flood insurance payout in part due to inaccurate flood maps. (E&E News)

• An electrification group grades states’ electric vehicle adoption policies, finding most are making incremental but not transformational progress toward encouraging and preparing for EV adoption. (Utility Dive)
• The electric vehicle sector’s growing investment in the Southeast reflects a decades-long shift to the region stemming largely from lower unionization rates and labor costs. (Quartz)

UTILITIES: A federal judge sentences former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder to 20 years in prison for his role in a $61 million bribery and corruption scheme that resulted in legislation to benefit FirstEnergy. (Ideastream) 

• California and the Midwest get the highest grades in a clean energy group’s report card on transmission grid planning and development, while the Southeast is failing. (Utility Dive)
• Retiring fossil fuel plants could be a transmission asset to the clean energy transition, as using their connections to the power grid would let new renewable projects bypass years-long interconnection queues. (E&E News)

• A study by New England’s grid operator finds that cold weather sunlight is helping rooftop solar displace and retire a Massachusetts gas-fired plant. (E&E News)
• Texas’ still-growing solar sector has been a “workhorse” during the recent heat wave, producing more than 15% of the state’s energy in the afternoon hours when power demand surges. (Texas Monthly)
• Urban rooftop solar installations will never generate enough to meet cities’ power demands and will need to be paired with larger, utility-scale solar projects and wind farms to displace fossil fuels, experts explain. (Los Angeles Times) 
• Commercial solar plans in Nebraska face mounting resistance from local officials and landowners who are attempting to stop projects with lawsuits, recalls and restrictive zoning. (Flatwater Free Press)
• Detroit officials seek public input on a plan to replace hundreds of blighted acres across the city with solar panels. (Planet Detroit)

PIPELINES: As federal regulators allow construction to resume on the Mountain Valley Pipeline, company officials say the project could carry natural gas as soon as this winter. (WSLS, The Hill)

• Residents living near the site of a proposed 639 MW natural gas-fired power plant in western Pennsylvania say their communities already are environmentally overburdened and shouldn’t host the facility. (Trib Live)
• New Mexico regulators issue an oil and gas company an unprecedented $40.3 million fine for allegedly violating state pollution reporting and control regulations by flaring off excessive gas in 2019 and 2020. (Associated Press)

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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.