OVERSIGHT: Congressional testimony on last month’s Texas outages devolves into finger-pointing, blame-shifting and partisan grandstanding as federal officials reexamine the grid’s failure. (Austin American-Statesman)

ALSO:
• Witnesses testifying to Congress about the Texas blackouts agree on the need to winterize the generation fleet and grid but diverge on the role of renewables. (S&P Global)
• The mayor of Houston testifies that the blackouts were “foreseeable and preventable,” but since policymakers downplayed a similar 2011 storm as an “anomaly,” they failed to make needed changes to protect power plants and the grid. (Houston Chronicle)
• Texas lawmakers vow to fix paperwork loopholes that kept natural gas plants offline instead of being listed as “critical infrastructure” during the storm. (S&P Global)
• A Texas city proposes defraying the cost of last month’s storms to customers by stretching the expense out on bills over the next decade. (KIII)

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PIPELINES:
• The Yellow Finch blockade against the Mountain Valley Pipeline ends on its 931st day after its final tree-sitter is extracted, arrested and charged by Virginia police. (Roanoke Times)
• FERC denies an effort to halt construction along the Mountain Valley Pipeline, over the objections of its Democratic members. (E&E News, subscription)
• A Byhalia Connection pipeline representative’s gaffe calling a route through largely Black neighborhoods as “the path of least resistance” through Memphis becomes a rallying cry for grassroots resistance against the project. (Daily Helmsman)

RECLAMATION: West Virginia lawmakers advance legislation that would create a reclamation bonding program for wind and solar facilities. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

OIL & GAS:
• Louisiana joins a dozen other states to sue the Biden’s administration over an oil and gas leasing moratorium on public lands and offshore waters, but the governor and attorney general split on their fervor for the suit. (Associated Press, Center Square)
• A liquified natural gas company intends to build a carbon capture and storage project at a proposed export plant in Texas. (Reuters)
• A study of Appalachia’s gas-producing counties and projections for demand through 2040 raise the question of whether the region’s shale-gas drilling will ever again be profitable. (Gizmodo)
• Researchers say methane emissions in the Permian Basin have rebounded to pre-pandemic levels. (E&E News, subscription)

ENERGY EFFICIENCY: Louisiana will award nearly $2.5 million in energy efficiency grants for things like LED lights for schools and local governments in the northwestern part of the state. (KTBS)

COAL:
• Georgia lawmakers delay a vote on legislation to tighten coal ash monitoring requirements, putting its passage in doubt after a similar measure failed last year. (Georgia Public Broadcasting)
• As the coal industry shrinks, its longtime allies in the railroad industry face questions about lobbying transparency and their history of denying climate science. (Triple Pundit)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Southeastern utilities such as Duke Energy and Georgia Power are among those leaning into the electric vehicle market by developing subsidiaries and programs targeted at helping clients transition and maintain their fleets. (Utility Dive)
• A Florida school district announces it will add 12 electric school buses to its fleet. (Observer)

HYDROPOWER: A southern Virginia city sells a hydroelectric complex and will use the revenue for grid upgrades, including building a new electric substation near a new casino and upgrading two other substations. (Danville Register & Bee)

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UTILITIES: Duke Energy’s new Florida leader names generating cleaner energy and modernizing the grid as two of her top priorities. (Tampa Bay Times)

COMMENTARY: North Carolina must implement new state energy policies to reach its climate goals and allow communities across the state to benefit from the clean energy transition already in progress, write two legal and climate experts. (Energy News Network)

Mason Adams

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.