COAL: Federal regulators still haven’t issued enforceable safety standards to address pandemic risks for coal miners, leaving mining unions to negotiate protections for members and nonunion miners to fend for themselves. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

OIL & GAS: Restoring the land surrounding more than 430,000 spent and abandoned oil and gas wells in the U.S. would cost $7 billion but return $21 billion to the economy within 50 years, Arkansas researchers find. (Democrat Gazette)

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GRID:
The Texas House approves a $2.5 billion plan to pay off customers’ massive electricity bills, funded with a long-term fee on electricity companies that will be passed on to customers’ bills. (Texas Tribune)
An attempt by Texas’ grid operator to prevent blackouts during February’s storm by paying industrial consumers to curb energy use actually constrained gas supplies that power plants needed, an analysis finds. (Wall Street Journal, subscription)
A final summer forecast from Texas’ grid operator says there’s a low risk of blackouts this summer, though “low-probability, high-impact situations” could still trigger outages. (Austin American-Statesman)

UTILITIES: The Tennessee Valley Authority announces a goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, saying it will need advanced nuclear power to make that happen. (E&E News, subscription)

NATURAL GAS:
Oklahoma leaders say they don’t plan to curb reliance on natural gas anytime soon, despite huge charges during February’s winter storm. (E&E News)
An Arkansas city pays a $238,450 natural gas bill incurred at its convention center during February’s freeze but accuses the supplier of “price gouging.” (Democrat Gazette)
Energy officials in a Texas city describe the shocking moment when its natural gas supplier cut off its supply during the storm, followed by a stunning utility bill 400 times higher than usual. (WFAA)

RENEWABLES: Houston leaders are trying to make the city into a clean energy innovation hub, but investments are still concentrated on the east and west coasts. (Houston Chronicle, subscription)

TRANSITION: Demand for electricity in Virginia will shoot up as electric vehicle use grows and data centers move in, a University of Virginia forecast finds, suggesting policymakers should focus on building new, clean sources of power. (Virginia Mercury)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
Two Georgia Democrats praise the White House’s proposed investment in electric vehicles and infrastructure, noting pollution from gas-powered vehicles “disproportionately affects low-income communities and communities of color.” (CBS46)
Georgia-based bus manufacturer Blue Bird is looking forward to the Biden administration’s proposal to replace 20% of diesel-powered school buses with electric models, as well as a bill from Sen. Raphael Warnock that would devote $25 billion to the shift. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

PIPELINES: Dallas-based pipeline company Energy Transfer LP seems to have made the most money off February’s storm of any energy supplier, bringing in $2.4 billion. (Dallas Morning News)

WIND: A landowner and the University of Texas system buy a 12,000 acre plot that will be developed into a 175 MW wind farm. (San Angelo Live)

SOLAR: EDP Renewables is seeking tax incentives for a $200 million, 180 MW solar farm in eastern Texas. (Houston Business Journal)

BIOMASS: British biomass power generator Drax is building three Arkansas plants to make pellets from sawmill residue and send them to its power station in the U.K. (Bioenergy Insight)

COMMENTARY: Diesel-powered school buses expose students to physical and cognitive health detriments, a Kentucky high schooler and a student advocate write, calling on the state to lead the shift to electric models. (Louisville Courier Journal)