POLITICS: A pair of dark money political groups helped persuade Ohio to pass a law legally declaring natural gas to be “green energy.” Now, documents show they’re working to try to get other states to follow suit. (Washington Post)

CLIMATE:
• President Biden’s climate agenda could be held back by a chronic shortage of federal workers and threats by House Republicans to cut spending. (E&E News)
• U.S. Climate Envoy John Kerry defends the selection of a state-run oil company CEO to chair the next UN climate negotiations in Dubai, saying the company is committed to transitioning from fossil fuels. (The Guardian)

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ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• A Wyoming lawmaker who introduced a bill that would phase out electric vehicle sales by 2035 to “ensure the stability” of the state’s oil and gas industry now says he only meant to signal opposition to California’s ban on gasoline-powered vehicles. (Teslarati, Washington Post)
• Ford and General Motors will participate in programs allowing electric vehicles to act as “virtual power plants” and transfer power to the grid during high demand. (Michigan Radio)

OIL & GAS:
• Oil and gas companies are using a closed-door legal process to sue countries over their climate policies under international trade agreements. (Grist)
• Major oil and gas companies in the coming weeks are projected to report a combined record $200 billion in profits from 2022. (Reuters)
• Scientists call for restrictions on oil and gas in the Gulf of Mexico to protect a newly discovered, highly endangered species of whale. (Texas Tribune)

BUILDINGS:
• Louisiana, North Carolina and Colorado top the list of states that would most benefit from updating building energy codes, a new analysis says. (Canary Media)
• A Maine real estate developer hopes to replicate a new condo building featuring rooftop solar, heat pumps and EV chargers. (News Center Maine)

GRID: Texas power plants performed better during last month’s cold snap than in 2021’s polar vortex, but a 34% drop in capacity points to ongoing challenges. (Texas Monthly)

SOLAR: Advocates lobby for West Virginia to approve a community solar program, but some lawmakers see it as a threat to coal production. (West Virginia Public Broadcasting)

WIND: An Alliant Energy subsidiary is building a facility near Cedar Rapids, Iowa, that will recycle decommissioned wind turbine blades. (Des Moines Register)

LITHIUM: The U.S. Energy Department conditionally commits to lending up to $700 million to the developers of the controversial Rhyolite Ridge lithium mine proposed for western Nevada. (Canary Media) 

CRYPTO MINING: New York regulators face a lawsuit from several environmental nonprofits over the approval of a crypto mining operation’s peaker plant purchase. (The Guardian)

EMISSIONS: Virginia’s participation in a regional carbon market has helped the state lower emissions from electricity despite booming growth of energy-hungry data centers. (Energy News Network)

COMMENTARY: General Motors’ new electric Hummer should rattle Tesla and the oil and gas industry as an indicator of how fast the EV revolution is playing out, writes an energy columnist. (Houston Chronicle)

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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.