POLICY: Senators from coal-producing states including West Virginia are expected to helm three out of four leadership posts in the chamber’s energy and environment committees. (E&E News)

ALSO:
• Florida regulators push to allow portions of public hearings to be conducted in secret, ostensibly to protect trade secrets. (Tampa Bay Times)
• Environmentalists call on the Florida state legislature to create committees devoted to climate change. (WCJB)

***SPONSORED LINK: Whether you’re aware of it or not, clean energy is working for you right now.  Support NCSEA’s efforts to continue building a clean energy future that works for all North Carolinians  by giving a tax-deductible donation before December 31. www.energync.org/cleanworks .***

SOLAR:
• Knoxville’s utility signs a purchase agreement that will see the Tennessee mountain city power 20% of its electricity from solar by 2023. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)
• North Carolina regulators sign off on a 75 MW solar facility planned for mountainous Wilkes County, but the project still must obtain local approvals. (Wilkes Journal-Patriot)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• A central Virginia county approves installation of charging stations for electric school buses. (WRIC)
• College students compete in a 48-hour contest to develop ideas for how to promote electric vehicle adoption in Chattanooga, Tennessee. (SmartCitiesWorld)

PIPELINES:
• A western Virginia judge finds two tree-sitters in contempt of court and fines them $500 per day for as long as they continue to block the Mountain Valley Pipeline. (Roanoke Times)
• The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers considers changes to its nationwide permitting program, including a permit for crossing waterways that has become a flashpoint in pipeline fights. (Engineering News-Record)

OIL & GAS:
• A lease sale for drilling rights in the Gulf of Mexico this week attracts more bidders than in March, but remains well below 2019 figures amid an industry slump. (Houma Today)
• A liquid natural gas firm delays its decision on whether to build an $8.5 billion export terminal in Louisiana until mid-2021. (New Orleans Advocate)

GRID:
• A North Carolina electric cooperative adopts “self-healing grid” technology to reduce the length of outages in a five-county region. (The Pilot)
• Georgia Transmission nears completion of a new substation in the Atlanta metro area. (Rockdale Citizen)

ENERGY EFFICIENCY: An Alabama school board considers infrastructure upgrades to lower energy costs, but hedges based on the potential cost. (Cullman Times)

UTILITIES: Duke Energy appoints an executive to a new post responsible for overseeing progress toward net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. (Charlotte Business Journal)

TRANSITION:
• A southwestern Virginia economic development agency uses coal tax revenue to establish a fund to promote renewable energy projects. (Virginia Business)
• Solar developers eye former coal mines in West Virginia for opportunities. (Forbes)

CLEAN ENERGY: A Virginia county board passes a resolution committing to 100% renewable energy for county government by 2030 and for the entire county by 2035. (Food & Water Watch)

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.