CLIMATE: Democrats are hoping unprecedented wildfire smoke in the nation’s capital — a reminder of climate impacts already being felt around the world — will be enough to convince conservatives to support more aggressive action to cut emissions, as some Republicans downplay the connection to a warming planet. (Associated Press, Politico)

• Some lawmakers are calling on President Biden to declare a climate emergency, an option he had considered last year. (Washington Post)
• Several GOP-backed bills aimed at curbing Biden’s power to address emissions are stalled in the House as far-right lawmakers seek to punish Speaker Kevin McCarthy for compromising on the debt ceiling. (E&E News)
• A group of 28 Republicans, led by U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, calls for hearings on the EPA’s proposed rules for power plant emissions that experts say could close coal- and gas-fired plants. (Bluefield Daily Telegraph)
• A new report finds millions of federal dollars intended to support conservation on farms go to large-scale operations that worsen climate change. (Inside Climate News)

OVERSIGHT: A peer-reviewed study finds 25% of the nation’s public utilities commissioners previously worked in the utility or fossil fuel industry, compared to 19% with an environmental background. (Los Angeles Times)

GRID: Texas’ battery storage capacity has grown tenfold in the last two years to complement the state’s booming solar and wind development. (Marketplace)

WORKFORCE: Georgia’s state-funded cleantech workforce training program is credited in part for the state’s success in attracting large solar, battery and electric vehicle factories. (Canary Media)

• The Permian Basin is home to a new oil boom, but unlike in years past, the industry is moderating its approach to hiring and drilling to avoid a price crash. (NPR)
The Biden administration awards federal land agencies $64 million for plugging and cleaning up abandoned oil and gas wells. (S&P Global)

• Following the footsteps of Ford, General Motors announces a deal to enable drivers of its electric vehicles to use Tesla’s Supercharger network. (Axios)
Unions laud a $30 million federal grant to electrify tractors at a southern California shipping port and its condition that equipment be operated by humans, not robots. (Reuters)
Colorado plans to launch one of the nation’s largest statewide e-bike incentive programs in August, offering income-based rebates of $500 to $1,100 against purchases. (CPR)

BUILDINGS: Less than half of large-building owners in Kansas City are complying with a 2015 ordinance requiring energy consumption reports, and city officials are declining to impose fines for noncompliance. (Kansas City Beacon) 

COMMENTARY: While advocates hope that increasingly severe impacts will shake people out of climate change apathy, psychologists say it isn’t necessarily that simple. (BBC)

More from the Energy News Network: Midwest | Southeast | Northeast | West

Ken is the director of the Energy News Network at Fresh Energy and is a founding editor of both Midwest Energy News and Southeast Energy News. Prior to joining Fresh Energy, he was the managing editor for online news at Minnesota Public Radio. He started his journalism career in 2002 as a copy editor for the Duluth News Tribune before spending five years at the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, where he worked as a copy editor, online producer, features editor and night city editor. A Nebraska native, Ken has a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master's degree from the University of Oregon. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors.