UTILITIES: Advocates press Virginia lawmakers to require electric cooperatives comply with open meeting rules, prohibit proxy voting and other ways for boards to control elections, and be transparent about political lobbying. (Energy News Network)

ALSO:
• Dominion Energy seeks to withdraw an application to raise its costs to Virginia ratepayers for participation in a regional carbon-trading market because the new governor-elect has pledged to withdraw the state from the program. (Virginia Mercury)
• North Carolina regulators make permanent a rate hike for Piedmont Natural Gas. (Charlotte Business Journal, subscription)

RENEWABLES: Texas leads the country as it plans to install 28% of the country’s new solar capacity and 51% of its wind power in 2022. (CleanTechnica)

CLIMATE:
• Twenty climate disasters that caused more than $1 billion in damages happened in 2021, with 12 of them hitting the Southeast. (KXAN)
• North Carolina farmers try to adapt to increasingly erratic weather and climate-conscious consumers even as many doubt the science behind climate change. (Coastal Review)

POLITICS: North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper instructs state agencies to implement policies to assist “marginalized communities, Indigenous communities, and communities of color who have faced the impact of pollution and climate change in a disproportionate way.” (E&E News)

OIL & GAS:
• A West Virginia legislative committee votes to scrap a rule for valuing oil and natural gas wells after it proves unpopular with both the industry and county governments. (Charleston Gazette-Mail, subscription)
• Summit Utilities takes over gas service for 425,000 Arkansas customers after buying out CenterPoint Energy. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

GRID:
Thousands of central Virginians hope their power will be restored today after a snow storm knocked it out more than a week ago. (WRIC)
• Georgia Power conducts line transmission and distribution work in a Georgia community as part of Southern Co.’s $1.3 billion grid improvement project. (Morgan County Citizen)

WIND: The Danish Department of Climate, Energy and Utilities enters into an agreement with Virginia to collaborate on offshore wind technology and development. (ReNews.biz)

CRYPTOCURRENCY: A North Carolina community fights a cryptocurrency company’s efforts to locate there after blocking a previous attempt to build next to an elementary school. (WITN)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Tennessee Tech trains students in preparation for 11,000 new jobs that will arrive with Ford’s electric vehicle and battery factories. (WSMV)
• An electric vehicle company will deploy rentable electric scooters in a southern Virginia city. (Danville Register & Bee)
• A North Carolina professor will present an economic impact study of lithium mining as a company seeks to get approval for four mines in the state. (WCNC)

COMMENTARY:
• U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin’s influential decisions about Democrats’ climate and social spending initiatives are driven by his financial stake in the coal industry, making him a powerful villain for climate activists in his home state, writes a climate journalist. (Rolling Stone)
• The United Mine Workers’ support of Democrats’ spending package will force Manchin to decide between coal miners and coal operators, writes a columnist. (Washington Post)

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.