OIL & GAS: Energy companies are increasingly asking the federal government for permission to abandon aging infrastructure along the Gulf Coast to avoid decommissioning costs, but the facilities are blocking access to sand gulf states need to rebuild their coastlines against the threat of rising seas. (Washington Post)

ALSO: Dozens of Louisiana parishes’ lawsuits to force oil and gas companies to clean up coastal drilling damage are pushed from state to federal court, although they may get moved back again. (NOLA.com)

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE: Black communities in an Alabama Superfund site  fight to have it added to a registry of the nation’s worst hazardous waste sites, facing opposition that includes a developer and state representative convicted of bribery. (Inside Climate News)

OVERSIGHT:
• West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice appoints the former longtime president of the state’s coal lobby group to the state commission that regulates utilities. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• Florida regulators approve storm recovery costs for Florida Power & Light, Duke Energy and Tampa Electric. (Daily Energy Insider)

WIND: A renewables company appeals a Virginia county’s decision that it missed a site plan deadline for its planned 14-turbine wind farm. (Roanoke Times)

SOLAR:
• Tesla partners with residential developers in Florida to provide solar panels and technology for 218 homes around a Palm Beach golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus. (Electrek)
• Developers tout the storage capability at a North Carolina solar array. (WRAL)

COAL ASH: Georgia Power asks state regulators for approval to cap and leave an unlined coal ash pond in place at Plant Hammond. (Rome News-Tribune)

GRID:
• Texas regulators look at ways to determine which natural gas facilities are critical to avoid repeating confusion over which systems can be shut down during a grid emergency. (E&E News, subscription)
• Mississippi regulators order Entergy to follow an auditor’s recommendation to better plan and work with a regional transmission organization. (Delta Democrat-Times)

UTILITIES:
• Analysis shows Southern Company’s ability to meet President Joe Biden’s carbon reduction goals likely depends on substantially growing its renewables and completing the long-delayed nuclear expansion of Plant Vogtle. (S&P Global)
• Duke Energy sees its retail revenue rebound after dropping during the pandemic last year. (WFAE)

POLITICS:
• During a committee hearing, North Carolina state senators take aim at proposed legislation to replace five Duke Energy coal plants and make changes to how regulators set electric rates. (Charlotte Business Journal)
• A West Virginian who grew up in the fossil fuel industry says he’s made for the job of leading the White House’s task force to revitalize coal and power plant communities. (E&E News)

COMMENTARY:
• U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland advocates for federal investment to restore abandoned coal mines and oil and gas wells in West Virginia. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• President Biden’s new goal that 50% of all new vehicles sold will be zero emission by 2030 could benefit the Southeast’s economy, writes a clean energy advocacy group. (Southern Alliance for Clean Energy)

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.