PIPELINES: Memphis residents rally against the proposed Byhalia Connection pipeline ahead of a Tuesday city council vote on a drinking water regulation ordinance that could potentially stop the project. (E&E News, subscription; WATN) 

ALSO:
• A coalition of environmental groups press Tennessee regulators to withdraw a permit for Byhalia Connection because the companies behind it didn’t disclose another pipeline already makes the same link. (Commercial Appeal)
• The Byhalia Connection pipeline’s donation of more than $1 million to Memphis-area community groups fuels debate between those accepting the money and critics who see it as a tactic to weaken opposition to the project. (MLK50)
• Two people are arrested and charged with felonies for a Mountain Valley Pipeline protest in western Virginia in which one of them, an elected official on a state conservation board, chained himself to a construction truck in protest. (Roanoke Times)
• A congressional panel will hear complaints from Oklahoma landowners about lagging land restoration after construction of the 200-mile Midship pipeline. (E&E News, subscription)
• Arkansas is one of multiple states that increased criminal penalties this year for pipelines protests that involve trespassing on oil and gas properties. (Grist)

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OIL & GAS:
• February’s winter storm causes the U.S.’s oil output to fall to a three-year low, a much bigger loss in supply than previously estimated. (E&E News, subscription)
• New data shows nearly four out of five of Arkansas’ more than 47,300 oil and gas wells sit spent and abandoned. (Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)
• Colorado-based Summit Utilities pays $2.1 billion to take over CenterPoint Energy’s natural gas operations and pipelines in Arkansas and Oklahoma. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Texas lawmakers consider imposing new fees on electric vehicles to make up for lost gas revenue and establish a statewide charging network. (KSAT)

SOLAR: Kentucky regulators consider reducing net metering payments, cutting the value of new solar installations by up to 80% and likely undercutting the rapidly growing sector. (Ohio Valley ReSource)

EMISSIONS:
• Environmental groups using satellites to measure methane emissions note a large spike in the oil and gas-producing Permian Basin. (Houston Chronicle)
• A study finds that leaks from idle oil wells in west Texas’ Permian Basin could be a significant contributor of methane emissions. (University of Cincinnati News)

BIOGAS: Environmental groups say renewable gas plants powered by swine farms pollute rural North Carolina communities of color, and press a major food producer to create safer technologies to manage hog waste. (Fayetteville Observer)

TRANSITION:
• The multi-day loss of power, heat and water for many Texans during February’s winter storm is driving demand for backup energy systems. (Bloomberg)
• The director of President Joe Biden’s working group tasked with revitalizing coal and power plant communities brings firsthand knowledge from growing up in a coal-entwined family in West Virginia. (WV News)

NUCLEAR: Federal regulators sign off on the safety records for Duke Energy’s three North Carolina nuclear plants. (Carolina Public Press)

UTILITIES:
• The CEO of troubled state-owned South Carolina utility Santee Cooper plans for the years before its electric rate freeze is lifted in 2025. (Post and Courier)
• Electric bills rise in El Paso due to the increasing cost of natural gas, not because of the February winter storm. (El Paso Times)
Appalachian Power seeks rate increases through an appeal to the Virginia Supreme Court and a series of riders pending before state regulators. (Roanoke Times)

COMMENTARY:
• Texas’ lack of energy energy efficiency contributed to its February blackouts as inefficient heaters in poorly insulated homes and businesses gulped electricity, writes an energy consultant. (Dallas Morning News)
• West Virginia will benefit by a national transition from fossil fuels to clean energy in a way that doesn’t leave fossil fuel workers and their families and communities behind, writes a conservationist. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• Virginia regulators should require solar and wind developers to build in counties that have long relied on coal production, writes an editorial board. (Roanoke Times)

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.