POLITICS: Democratic leaders leave out Sen. Joe Manchin’s energy permitting reforms from a must-pass defense spending bill after opposition from progressive Democrats as well as Republicans. (E&E News)

ALSO: Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock’s re-election in Georgia won’t do much to change the party’s prospects for passing climate legislation, but it does weaken Sen. Joe Manchin’s hold on the Senate. (E&E News)

SOLAR:
• A mapping company develops a free tool to help transportation departments find pieces of land where they could build solar arrays, even letting them create virtual mockups of the arrays. (Grist)
• The National Renewable Energy Laboratory rolls out a “minimum sustainable price” per watt for solar and storage installations, meant to help it better track industry price trends. (Utility Dive)

FOSSIL FUELS: The coal, oil and gas industries played an outsized role in backing major railroad companies to block a worker strike amid a recent labor dispute. (Grist)

OIL & GAS:
• A new map reveals waste from fracking wells that used PFAS “forever chemicals” has been dumped at dozens of sites in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia and could potentially contaminate soil and groundwater. (Daily Climate)
• Critics say Duke Energy’s proposed path to net-zero relies too heavily on replacing its shuttering coal plants with natural gas, ignoring methane emissions and risking creating stranded assets. (Energy News Network)

CLIMATE:
• Major tech companies pose “a systemic digital roadblock” to climate action by encouraging unsustainable consumerism, using huge amounts of energy, and worsening political division, an environmental nonprofit says. (Inside Climate News)
• The U.S. House climate crisis committee holds its final hearing as Republicans prepare to dissolve it in the next Congress. (E&E News)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: An electric vehicle battery manufacturer announces it will build an $810 million plant in South Carolina. (Florence Morning News)

GRID:
• A federal memo reveals Northwest utilities reported physical attacks on power grid equipment in November similar to the ones in North Carolina that left tens of thousands of households without power. (KOIN)
• The North Carolina substation attacks prompt reconsideration of grid security across the country. (The Hill)

WIND: A federal auction for five offshore wind lease parcels off California’s coast nets more than $400 million in bids during the first of the sale’s two days.  (CalMatters)

EFFICIENCY: California’s focus on equity and emissions reduction earns it the top-of-the-nation ranking for energy efficiency on a nonprofit’s scorecard while Wyoming is again dead last. (Utility Dive)

CRYPTOCURRENCY: Texas’ grid manager launches a voluntary program to pay crypto mining firms to reduce energy use during periods of high demand until longer-term rules can be established. (Bloomberg)

COMMENTARY: The U.S. Energy Department’s approval of new liquefied natural gas export permits raises energy prices for Americans while worsening greenhouse gas emissions, a consumer rights advocate writes. (Canary Media)

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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.