GRID: Millions of Texans and people across the Southeast and U.S. remain without power amid rolling blackouts and the coldest temperatures to hit the region in three decades. (Austin American-Statesman, Washington Post)

• The cost of wholesale electricity in Texas spiked more than 10,000% Monday as cold temperatures forced generating units of all kinds offline. (Reuters)
• Despite social media chatter blaming frozen wind turbines, about 27 GW of coal, nuclear and gas capacity was also unavailable in Texas due in part to suppliers diverting natural gas for heating. (Fortune)
• Texas regulators order generators to keep selling electricity on the grid despite blackouts that reduced the number of customers. (Austin American-Statesman)

***SPONSORED LINK: Check out the Squeaky Clean Energy Podcast by NCSEA! Get a fresh take on North Carolina’s clean energy landscape with biweekly episodes. Available wherever you get your podcast or at:***

OIL & GAS: Oil prices reach their highest level since the pandemic began as a result of international events that include the weather-related shutdown of Texas oil wells. (Reuters)

• Fossil fuel workers in Texas and Appalachia criticize President Joe Biden’s energy policies and say they don’t want to be viewed as collateral damage amid a national shift to renewables. (Bloomberg)
• Wind and solar projects across the Southeast make up a significant portion of growth in the sectors, which accounted for more than three quarters of new utility-scale capacity in 2020. (Clean Technica)
• The remnants of a once-thriving coal industry can still be seen in the New River Gorge, now home to America’s newest national park. (New York Times)

OVERSIGHT: Virginia state senators kill a swath of bills aiming to reform the state’s system for reviewing electric utility rates. (Virginia Mercury)

• West Virginia regulators approve the siting of a 93 MW solar facility. (The Journal)
• Students at three Virginia high schools compete to find innovative uses for solar energy. (Chesapeake Bay Journal)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Arkansas launches a state program to fund the installation of electric vehicle chargers as part of a bid to improve its last-in-the-country ranking for electric vehicle adoption and infrastructure. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette) 

• Frozen wind turbines and natural gas shortages for power plants in Texas demonstrate the need for a resilient grid and diverse fuel sources, an editorial board writes. (Dallas Morning News)
• The power outages in Texas and across the U.S. are a result of economists’ risk analysis and an anomalous weather event, and not a reliance on wind and other renewables, argues a clean energy advocate. (Clean Technica)
• An Arkansas newspaper calls for the federal government offer incentives or even mandates to kickstart battery production to facilitate the growth of clean energy. (Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

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.