ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Electric vehicle chargers begin showing up in Virginia’s common-interest communities after a 2020 law was passed to prevent homeowner and condominium associations from banning charger installation. (Energy News Network)

OIL & GAS:
• Analysts suggest BP made at least $1 billion from its energy trading business after February’s Texas outages sent natural gas prices skyrocketing. (Houston Chronicle)
• A bipartisan pair of Florida lawmakers introduce congressional legislation to permanently ban drilling off the state’s coastline. (E&E News, subscription)
• The EPA launches a probe into a series of accidents at an oil refinery in the U.S. Virgin Islands that include an accidental flare last week that released large amounts of sulfuric gases. (Inside Climate News)

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GRID:
• The Biden administration cites February’s Texas grid failure in its announcement of an $8 billion loan program to improve the U.S. power grid. (Forbes, Reuters)
• Texas’ grid manager names an interim president after the previous president was fired over February’s winter storm outages. (Texas Tribune)

TRANSITION:
• A new clean technology startup incubator in Houston opened last week, marking the Texas city’s progress toward what the incubator’s CEO called the “energy transition capital of the world.” (Utility Dive)
• A federal working group studying the fossil fuel transition identifies parts of West Virginia, Kentucky and southwestern Virginia as the most coal-dependent communities in the U.S. (Virginia Mercury)
• Advocates of fossil fuel divestment at colleges and universities have made little progress convincing a fund behind Texas’ state universities to end oil and gas leases on millions of acres of land holdings. (Inside Higher Ed)
• A northwestern Florida city pledges to power at least 30% of its operations from renewable energy by 2030. (Pensacola News Journal)

POLITICS:
• Newly released emails show how the fossil fuel lobby mobilized to push Democratic governors in Louisiana and New Mexico against President Joe Biden’s executive order pausing new oil and gas leasing on federal lands and offshore. (HuffPost, Natural Gas Intelligence)
• The Sierra Club lobbies Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to veto 12 bills, including  one that would prohibit local governments from requiring gas stations to have electric chargers. (WJCT)

SOLAR:
• A central Virginia planning committee tables a solar proposal until it meets with the board of supervisors about fast-growing solar development that includes hundreds of acres already under development. (News & Advance)
• The developer of a proposed 20 MW solar farm near a Virginia lake community cites an estimated 35-year lifespan and decommissioning procedures amid questions about building in a high-growth area. (Franklin News-Post/Roanoke Times)

OVERSIGHT:
• West Virginia’s governor signs a new law to establish a state-run bonding program for reclamation of wind and solar projects. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• The person nominated by North Carolina’s Democratic governor to lead the state’s environmental regulation agency pledges to build consensus and work with the Republican-led legislature if confirmed. (News & Observer)

Mason Adams

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.