POLITICS: President Joe Biden’s clean-energy agenda hinges on key West Virginia lawmakers and their buy-in for a transition that could revive the economy in a state hit hard by coal’s ongoing decline. (Bloomberg, Charleston Gazette-Mail)

ALSO:
• West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice signs bills to prop up the state’s coal, oil and gas industries, and lets a bill to exempt solar power purchase agreements from state regulation become law without his signature. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• Texas lawmakers advance legislation to instruct state investment funds to divest from companies that refuse to invest in or do business with fossil fuel companies. (Texas Tribune)

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GRID:
• A court grants San Antonio’s municipal utility a temporary restraining order against Texas’ grid operator over charges from February’s winter storm as its customers grapple with more than $100 million in past-due bills. (Forbes, Texas Public Radio)
• Texas lawmakers advance a bill to make power plant winterization mandatory, though their efforts to reform the state’s grid manager may put more political appointees on its board and do little to actually improve the grid’s performance, experts say. (Texas Tribune)
• A venture capitalist describes February’s Texas energy crisis as a failure of leadership and markets that confirms the need for companies to center renewables, storage, hydrogen and carbon as they devise energy solutions. (E&E News, subscription)

SOLAR:
• Virginia regulators approve nine new solar facilities totalling nearly 500 MW for Dominion Energy in what will be the largest assemblage of new solar power in state history. (Virginian-Pilot)
• Kentucky’s capital city weighs conflicting consultant’s reports on the pros and cons of buying its electricity from a 20 MW solar farm. (State Journal)
• A power company hires a builder for a 140 MW Texas solar farm. (Construction Review Online)

OIL & GAS: Texas regulators consider a permit for an oil and gas waste disposal facility near its border with Louisiana. (KTRE)

BIOFUELS: Louisiana announces plans for a $700 million renewable diesel refinery that will produce up to 32 million gallons of fuel annually. (CleanTechnica)

NUCLEAR: Builders complete the last major lift in the expansion of two units at Georgia’s Plant Vogtle, the only nuclear power plants under construction in the U.S. (Utility Dive)

UTILITIES: As Arkansas’ disconnection moratorium concludes, utility officials encourage customers behind on their bills to seek alternative options before they’re cut off. (KTHV)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• An electric battery maker seeks incentives as it aims to build a research and development center in Florida. (Orlando Business Journal)
• Florida and Texas rank third and fourth after California and New York for installing the largest number of electric chargers in the U.S. (CleanTechnica)

COMMENTARY:
• President Biden’s appointment of people with backgrounds in community-based clean energy, environmental justice and labor to the Tennessee Valley Authority’s board represent a step toward tackling the climate emergency and building a more just energy system, writes a energy justice campaigner. (Energy News Network)
• A relatively small solar farm proposal still offers a South Carolina county the opportunity to partake in the state’s solar revolution, write guest columnists. (Post and Courier)
• North Carolina should join a regional greenhouse gas initiative as a step toward addressing climate change, writes a retired reporter and political consultant. (WRAL)

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.