ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE: President Joe Biden’s promise to address the disproportionate exposure of people of color to pollution meets both with hope and skepticism after generations of systemic racism in the placement of energy infrastructure. (Georgia Public Broadcasting)

UTILITIES:
• Virginia lawmakers push a package of seven bills to strengthen state oversight of Dominion Energy, with hopes of lowering some of the nation’s highest electricity rates. (Richmond Times-Dispatch/ProPublica)
• Louisiana regulators investigate a spate of complaints about Entergy electric bills that have soared even though there’s been no rate change. (The Advocate)

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STORAGE: Florida Power & Light begins construction on what is expected to be the world’s largest integrated solar-powered battery system. (The Capitolist)

PIPELINES: With the Mountain Valley Pipeline’s fate still uncertain, citizen scientists document erosion troubles at construction sites along its route through West Virginia. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

SOLAR: Gulf Power plans to build at least three new solar plants in Florida’s panhandle to meet demand for clean energy. (WJHG)

WIND:
• Amid a scramble to build wind turbines off the East Coast, a renewables company plans a wind farm off North Carolina’s Outer Banks that may eventually expand to 2,500 MW. (Spectrum News 1)
• Texas Tech wind energy experts win federal funding to build a radar system to measure wind plant flow fields and better understand how individual turbines and wind farms affect each other. (KJTV)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• A partnership that wants to build 10 electric charging stations across Arkansas breaks ground on its first construction site. (Magnolia Reporter)
• Georgia Power installs two electric-vehicle charging stations in northwestern Georgia as part of a commitment to invest $6 million over three years on fast-charging infrastructure. (The Chattanoogan)

GRID: Appalachian Power plans upgrades to its transmission network in southern West Virginia. (Beckley Register-Herald)

OIL & GAS: Dominion Energy upgrades its natural gas lines in a northern West Virginia city after noticing a series of leaks. (Exponent-Telegram)

ENERGY EFFICIENCY:
• Duke Energy ranks at the top for energy efficiency among Southeast utilities, accounting for 20% of the region’s retail electricity sales but 59% of its energy efficiency savings, with its Florida and the Carolinas subsidiaries leading the way. (Charlotte Business Journal)
• Georgia Power’s plan to increase its energy efficiency by 15% in 2020 fell by the wayside due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Georgia Public Broadcasting)

POLITICS:
• The governor of Texas issues executive orders authorizing state agencies to sue the federal government over the Biden administration’s efforts to fight climate change if they limit oil and gas production in the state. (Reuters)
• Georgia observers disagree on whether the Biden administration’s climate policies will fuel the growth of renewables and electric vehicles or just result in lost jobs and higher gas prices. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

COMMENTARY:
• As chairman of the U.S. Senate’s energy committee and a fulcrum in the closely divided body, Joe Manchin of West Virginia holds the power to build a post-coal economy for the state, writes a policy expert. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• Virginia’s passage of a plan last year to decarbonize electricity production must be joined by legislation to address auto emissions if state lawmakers want to reduce carbon pollution, writes the director of the Virginia League of Conservation Voters. (Virginia Mercury)
• Florida’s local governments should invest in fleets of electric vehicles, writes a newspaper opinion editor. (Gainesville Sun)

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.