Is Trump pulling the plug on electric cars?
In this edition: As government revisits gas-mileage targets, it'll test carmaker commitment to cleaner vehicles; science funding slashed in Trump budget proposal; why solar panels bloom in the land of hydropower.
What we're writing
—The Trump administration will revisit an Obama-era target of 54.5 miles per gallon for US vehicles. It could be a test case of how the private sector responds when federal clean-economy rules retreat. // Zack Colman
America has a history of funding basic science at the federal level, on the notion that it pays off for society. The Trump budget challenges that view – including on climate research. The cuts are deep (though not always as deep as some had feared) and would ripple out to affect universities around the nation. // Henry Gass
Electric utilities are seeking a new power mix, as shifts in precipitation diminish the role that dams have long played for western states. // Zack Colman
"But you can't use this as an excuse" to write off the bigger trend in warming, says one of the study's co-authors. // Patrick Reilly
What we're reading
Wind has essentially caught up with hydro as America's largest renewable energy source. // Greentech Media
Plug-and-play microgrids could be key to adding more clean energy to the mix. // Yale Climate Connections
The US will add 570,000 types of maize, wheat, potatoes, and other crops into a seed-sharing system. // Reuters
Seventeen House Republicans want climate action, with solutions that keep in mind the health of the economy. // InsideClimate News
"Spring arrived in February, was interrupted across much of the country by this week's nor'easter, and is now making its way back.... It’s likely to be a warm one." // Ellen Powell, writing for The Christian Science Monitor
"Until recently, batteries were many times more expensive than natural gas 'peaker' plants that fire up when supply falls (as when the wind dies down)." // Tom Randall writing for Bloomberg
"For directors of companies in sectors that are significantly exposed to climate risk, the expectation will be for the whole board to have demonstrable fluency in how climate risk affects the business and management's approach to adapting and mitigating the risk.... We will consider voting in favor of [shareholder] proposals that would address our concern." // Policy from BlackRock, quoted by E&E News
“Climate change is a challenge that requires a broader, whole-of-government response." // James Mattis, quoted by Pro Publica