PIPELINES: One of the companies behind the proposed Byhalia Connection pipeline agrees to consider an alternate route, pause its work for two months and pull back on eminent domain lawsuits, while the Memphis city council again delays voting on an ordinance that could halt the project altogether. (E&E News, subscription; Commercial Appeal)

ALSO:
• The Mountain Valley Pipeline’s in-service date is pushed back to summer 2022 and its projected cost rises to $6.2 billion because of delays in permitting for water crossings. (Roanoke Times)
• A two-year criminal investigation of the Mountain Valley Pipeline for clean water violations ends without any charges. (Roanoke Times)
• Environmental groups sue the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over a permitting program that allows pipelines to be built across wetlands and other waterways and has been used to advance the Mountain Valley Pipeline, among others. (Associated Press)

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SOLAR: A Virginia county denies a permit for a 149 MW solar facility after three hours of public comment mostly against the proposed project. (Culpeper Star-Exponent)

OIL & GAS:
• Texas’ Port of Corpus Christi partners with a Houston company to build new liquified natural gas fueling infrastructure. (Caller Times)
• A Texas oil and gas drilling company mines Bitcoin by using excess gas at drilling sites to power data center operations. (Dallas Morning News)

GRID:
• Texas’ grid manager expects to hit a record peakload in summer 2021 but new solar and battery storage capacity will help. (S&P Global)
• Texas lawmakers push measures ostensibly intended to address February’s storm-induced outages but which threaten renewable energy, including a prohibition against cities banning natural gas hookups. (NPR, KUT)

WIND: A judge hears arguments between a Texas wind farm knocked offline during February’s winter storm and Citigroup, which billed it nearly $100 million for buying electricity to cover the loss. (Wall Street Journal, subscription)

COAL: Alabama regulators test the water of a creek near a Warrior Met Coal mine that’s been running black. (AL.com)

UTILITIES:
• Florida regulators approve a settlement that will increase electric rates for nearly 2 million Duke Energy Florida customers. (The Capitolist)
• Two Texas cities deny a $98 million dollar rate hike requested by utility Oncor. (KXII)
• The Tennessee Valley Authority delivered its lowest electricity prices in a decade this past winter because of cheaper fuel and rebates offered to customers. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)

DATA CENTERS:
• An energy forecaster predicts that Virginia’s electricity demand will balloon over the next 30 years as data centers flood the state and electric vehicles replace traditional ones. (Virginia Mercury)
• Google announces a partnership with a third party to decarbonize its operations at three Virginia data centers through a 500-MW portfolio of resources. (Utility Dive)

TECHNOLOGY: Austin, Texas-based renewable energy company EnergyX raises $20 million for technology development in the electric vehicle and personal electronics industries. (Austin American-Statesman)

NUCLEAR: Federal regulators approve Dominion Energy’s application to extend operations at a Virginia nuclear plant into the 2050s. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

BIOGAS: North Carolina lawmakers advance legislation to create a more streamlined permit for turning hog waste into renewable natural gas, over environmentalists’ objections. (Associated Press, Coastal Review Online) 

POLITICS: The seven Virginia Republicans vying for the party’s nomination for governor this year agree they all want to roll back a sweeping clean energy law passed last year. (E&E News, subscription)

COMMENTARY:
• The new leader of Texas’ electric grid operator sets out to restore trust after its failed response to February’s winter storm and resulting outages, writes an editor. (Dallas Morning News)
• Dominion Energy should provide more transparency around its lobbying efforts, writes an activist and one of its shareholders. (Virginia Mercury)
Green jobs bloom in a heavily Republican Georgia district, suggesting the growth is one of the “few unicorn topics” both political parties seem energized about, writes a columnist. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

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.