** The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) was deployed Thursday night to the scene of a fatal chemical release at Prime Pak Foods in Gainesville, GA. According to initial reports, a release of liquid nitrogen led to six fatalities, nine others were transported to the hospital, with three in critical condition and six in fair condition.
** North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum says the Biden administration’s pause on oil leasing on federal land is a “crushing blow to our country’s economy at a critical time,” reported the Bismarck Tribune.
** Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm says she is “obsessed with creating good-paying jobs in America” during her confirmation hearing for U.S. energy secretary that focused on her clean energy priorities.
** Biden’s pick for EPA administrator, Michael Regan, will be in the hot seat next. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has set his hearing for next week.
** President Biden’s plan to electrify the federal government’s vehicle fleet could take at least 10 years yet provide stability to the burgeoning EV market, experts say.
** A southwestern Illinois county zoning board adopts more restrictive regulations on wind and solar projects.
** Minnesota Democratic lawmakers urge President Biden to direct the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to revoke a key water crossing permit for the Line 3 pipeline.
** Already reeling from low oil prices and the pandemic economy, Louisiana’s oil and gas producers brace for a reduction in federal subsidies as investment is redirected toward clean energy.
** A new report on energy efficiency ranks the Tennessee Valley Authority, which has cut many of its rebate and loan programs over the last decade, near the bottom among Southeast electric utilities.
** A Florida city considers switching its street lamps to LED bulbs from Duke Energy to dissuade vandals who have discovered they can knock out its existing decorative lights by shaking poles.
** Virginia lawmakers kill a bill that would have required utilities to return excess profits to customers.
** Former EPA Region 9 Administrator Mike Stoker filed a lawsuit Wednesday against former Trump administration officials at the agency, alleging defamation related to his firing last year.
** A federal district court judge in Montana delayed implementation of the Trump administration’s scientific transparency rule on Wednesday, stating he has “significant doubt” that EPA had the authority to write the contentious rule in the first place.
** A German state has been accused of using a ‘green’ foundation backed with Russian money to bypass US sanctions against the completion of the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, the northeasternmost state in Germany, set up the Climate and Environmental Protection MV foundation earlier this month claiming its goal was to “further environmental projects in the Baltic Sea region.”