SOLAR: Environmentalists oppose an 800 MW solar farm slated for a 3,594-acre Texas tract that is home to the largest remaining section of tall-grass prairie in the state. (Washington Post)

ALSO:
• Virginia lawmakers seek to balance a solar construction boom with the desire to preserve farmland and forests. (Virginia Mercury)
• A Virginia town approves a permit for expansion of a solar farm, contingent on the approval of a siting agreement. (Northern Virginia Daily)

COAL: The Appalachian coal industry struggles to take advantage of soaring energy prices, with mining companies blaming railroads and fewer resources after decades of contraction. (WCHS)

OIL & GAS:
• U.S. oil and gas companies have 14 liquified natural gas projects federally approved though not yet built, but await more investor support to ramp up production in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. (E&E News)
• West Virginia lawmakers debate and pass legislation to outline a process for companies that want to drill on land where owners are unwilling or can’t be located. (WV Metro News)
• Georgia lawmakers advance a bill to suspend the state gas tax through May. (Associated Press)
• Nashville sees a spike in bus ridership as gas prices climb. (WTVF)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Austin, Texas, sees benefits after adding electric vehicles to its fleet years ago, as they cost roughly $4.17 a month per vehicle to charge — about the cost of one gallon of gas. (KTBC)
• Owners of a North Carolina winery see a stream of visitors arriving not for wine but for their electric vehicle charging station, offering a glimpse into the potential of EVs to upend travel traditions. (Winston-Salem Journal)
• Nissan will make facility and workforce upgrades to build two new all-electric models in Mississippi, which has the lowest rate of EV ownership in the nation. (Northside Sun)

GRID:
• Texas lawmakers discuss the need for more oversight of the oil and gas industry after last year’s winter storm. (KDFW)
• Florida Power & Light announces that smart-grid technology has improved the reliability of Northwest Florida’s power grid by 58% since 2018. (Pensacola News Journal)

WIND: A Danish company builds 66 wind turbines in Texas set for operation in May, and also plans to install 1 million solar panels at the site. (KIII)

HYDROGEN: The largest buyer of liquid hydrogen in the world secures a partner to provide electrical systems for two new green hydrogen plants, including one in southeastern Georgia. (Axios)

PUBLIC LANDS: Members of the Chickasaw Nation in Oklahoma call on federal lawmakers to acknowledge past injustices by allowing tribes to co-manage public land with federal agencies. (E&E News)

TRANSITION: A Kentucky county secures $3.2 million in grants, including federal money for abandoned mines, to build an industrial park. (Appalachian News-Express)

COMMENTARY:
• An energy columnist blasts Dominion Energy’s proposed administrative fee for Virginia’s still-tentative shared solar program for residents of multifamily buildings. (Virginia Mercury)
• An Alabama anti-pollution activist criticizes Alabama Power’s electric rates and influence in state politics. (Between the Lines)

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Mason Adams

Mason has worked as a journalist since 2001, covering Appalachian communities and the issues that affect them. He compiles the Southeast Energy News digest. Mason previously worked as a wildlife biologist before moving into journalism by freelancing at Coast Weekly in Monterey, California, before taking an internship in 2001 at High Country News. He wrote for the Enterprise Mountaineer in western North Carolina and the Roanoke Times in western Virginia before going freelance in 2012. His work has appeared in Southerly, Daily Yonder, Mother Jones, Huffington Post, WVPB’s Inside Appalachia and elsewhere. Mason was born and raised in Clifton Forge, Virginia, and now lives with his family and a small herd of goats in Floyd County, Virginia.