OIL & GAS: The Biden administration awards $560 million from last year’s infrastructure law to plug orphaned oil and gas wells in 24 states, the largest single investment in oil field cleanup in history. (E&E News)

COAL ASH:
• More frequent flooding is amplifying the risk that coal ash will contaminate rivers, lakes, and groundwater, with 172 impoundments sitting in 100-year floodplains. (Energy News Network/Chicago Investigative Project)
• Experts fear that plans to cap and leave a Joliet, Illinois, coal ash storage site in place could further threaten the community’s drinking water sources. (Energy News Network/Chicago Investigative Project)
• A West Virginia scientist is leading the effort to harvest critical minerals and rare-earth elements from coal waste such as acid mine drainage. (New Yorker)

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OVERSIGHT: The new climate law includes nearly a billion dollars to help speed up federal environmental reviews, but some progressive critics fear the changes will undermine public input. (E&E News)

TRANSITION: During a visit to northwestern New Mexico, U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announces the creation of a federal team to facilitate energy transitions in coal-affected communities. (NM Political Report)  

CLIMATE:
• California environmentalists laud Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed climate change package, but criticize its reliance on carbon capture and the continued operation of a nuclear plant. (San Francisco Chronicle)
• An investigation reveals how two fracking billionaires from Texas helped launch two of the internet’s biggest spreaders of climate disinformation. (Vice)

GRID: A new study by grid operator MISO says utility decarbonization goals could require 200 gigawatts of new capacity by 2041 while also highlighting the ongoing risk of capacity shortfalls in its territory. (S&P Global)

TRANSPORTATION:
• After California air regulators vote to ban the sale of new gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs by 2035, Washington, Oregon and Massachusetts officials say they will follow suit. (NPR, KOIN, KGW, NBC Boston)
• Amazon announces a deal with fuel cell maker Plug Power to buy 10,950 tons of green hydrogen per year for use in transportation and buildings. (CNBC)
• U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg highlights federal funding for bus rapid transit and other transit projects in a visit to Minneapolis. (Star Tribune)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
Panasonic eyes Oklahoma for an additional $4 billion electric vehicle battery plant after announcing last month it would build a similar factory in Kansas. (Reuters; Wall Street Journal, subscription)
• A manufacturer of carbon nanomaterials used to make electric vehicle batteries will build a factory in Kentucky near where Ford is building two EV battery plants. (Kentucky Today)

WIND: Virginia regulators will hear additional arguments after Dominion Energy said a performance guarantee for its planned offshore wind farm is “untenable” and would force it to end the project. (Associated Press, Utility Dive)

POLITICS:
• Records show Florida Power & Light funded a first-time candidate who had spoken against a solar ordinance to mandate rooftop systems in a failed effort to drain votes from a progressive environmentalist who clashed with FPL over a nuclear power plant. (Miami Herald)
• Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker defends the pace of the state’s solar build out and blames grid operator MISO for rising electricity costs and brownout risk during a gubernatorial debate. (State Journal-Register)

COMMENTARY: Southeast communities have made strides in the clean up and management of coal ash over the last decade, but the problem of safely removing the toxic substance has created additional challenges, writes a member of an Appalachian advocacy group. (Appalachian Voices)

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Dan Haugen

Dan has two decades' experience working in print, digital and broadcast media. Prior to joining the Energy News Network as managing editor in December 2017, he oversaw watchdog reporting at the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, part of the USA Today Network, and before that spent several years as a freelance journalist covering energy, business and technology. Dan is a former Midwest Energy News journalism fellow and a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and mass communications from University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.