UTILITIES: Research shows high bills and shutoffs by utilities played a role in putting Black, Brown and Indigenous communities at a disproportionate risk of hospitalization and death during the pandemic, even as companies received federal funds and boosted executive compensation. (Energy News Network)

ALSO:
• Entergy Arkansas files an energy plan with state regulators that replaces a previous proposal to build a new natural-gas plant with more solar development. (Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)
• San Antonio’s municipal utility feels pressure from credit-rating agencies to increase rates while its customers are still behind on bills from February’s winter storm. (San Antonio Express-News)

POLITICS:
• As U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin strips climate provisions from Democrats’ spending package, analyses suggest that not reducing emissions now will ensure West Virginia pays more in human and financial costs later. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• Virginia’s transportation department expects the state’s $7 billion allotment in the newly passed federal infrastructure package will go to roads, bridges, electric vehicle charging stations, and addressing climate change. (WRC-TV)

WIND: The projected cost of Dominion Energy’s wind turbine project off Virginia’s coast jumps nearly $2 billion to $9.8 billion. (Virginia Mercury)

GRID:
• Texas regulators wrestle with how to harden the state’s electric grid and navigate a market redesign in a state that consumes one-seventh of all energy in the U.S. (Dallas Morning News)
• An Austin, Texas, task force prepares to announce an ambitious set of recommendations based on the shortcomings of the city’s response to February’s winter storm. (Austin Monitor)
• An Arkansas committee concludes the state fared well during the winter storm but still should make improvements to communication, infrastructure and planning for reliable energy. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

OVERSIGHT: Louisiana residents and environmental groups ask federal regulators to sanction a steel-maker over its history of air pollution. (The Advocate)

CLIMATE: Rising seas threaten a coastal South Carolina community with advancing “ghost forests” and emerging effects on fish, wildlife and marine resources. (NPR)

OIL & GAS: Several Texas and Louisiana liquified natural gas projects could move forward in 2022 after months of pandemic- and price-related delays. (Reuters)

COAL:
• The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to hear a case from the coal industry and a coalition of red states that seeks to limit the EPA’s ability to regulate emissions poses a threat to President Biden’s climate plans. (Inside Climate News)
• Four former coal officials at a now-bankrupt company begin trial today in Kentucky for allegedly ordering workers to dodge federal air quality rules. (Associated Press)
• West Virginia’s tax department asks a county’s commissioners to exonerate a coal-mining company of more than $800,000 in tax obligations because an employee miscalculated the amount. (Charleston Gazette-Mail) 

PIPELINES: The Colonial Pipeline buys up property in North Carolina near the site of a leak that became the largest gasoline spill in state history. (N.C. Policy Watch)

COMMENTARY: ​​Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards brings a refreshing realism to COP26 by acknowledging concern over a shift from oil and gas but focusing on jobs in the new energy economy, writes an editorial board. (The Advocate)

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.