PIPELINES: A Memphis-area county government votes against selling two vacant parcels to the 49-mile Byhalia Connection pipeline, putting a snag in the company’s plans to build through vulnerable Black neighborhoods in the city. (MLK50)

COAL:
• A settlement between the U.S. EPA and an Alabama coke plant underscores the shortcomings of a regulatory structure staffed by unwilling or ill-equipped state and local officials and cautious, far-removed federal managers. (E&E News)
• A Kentucky congressman launches an effort to halt permits for mountaintop removal until a federal study of its health effects. (E&E News, subscription)

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SOLAR: South Carolina regulators schedule an April public hearing on Duke Energy’s net metering plans developed through an agreement with solar installers, environmental groups and renewable energy advocates. (Solar Industry)

OIL & GAS:
• Some of the Texas regulators charged with overseeing the oil and gas industry, and who have fiercely defended it against criticism after last month’s outages, have financial ties to the same companies they oversee. (Washington Post)
• A natural gas company asks North Carolina regulators to approve a 10.4% rate increase for capital investments. (Charlotte Business Journal)
• A former ExxonMobil oil rig 50 miles off Louisiana’s shore has been converted into an artificial reef, possibly modeling a future for about 1,700 Gulf of Mexico rigs that must eventually be decommissioned. (Bloomberg)
• Kansas City International Airport’s February gas bill is $2.4 million — 30 times its usual bill of $80,000 — because its leading supplier is a Houston-based company that was affected by last month’s freeze and outages. (WDAF)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Electric vehicle maker Arrival announces it will open a microfactory in Charlotte, North Carolina, to build vehicles for a fleet order from United Parcel Service. (CNBC)
• Florida Power & Light opens an electric vehicle charging station in St. Augustine and plans two more charging stations in Venice. (St. Augustine Record, Herald-Tribune)

POLITICS:
• A resolution passed last year by Savannah, Georgia, to require all electricity in the city to come from renewables by 2035 looks set to be undone by the passage of a state bill prohibiting building code restrictions on natural gas. (Savannah Morning News, subscription)
• A West Virginia congressman criticizes Democrats’ plans for energy upgrades in infrastructure legislation for leaving out fossil fuel pipelines, refineries and drilling. (WFLA)
• Two Democratic state senators compete in a runoff to represent Louisiana’s 2nd District in Congress, with climate change and energy issues at stake. (E&E News, subscription)

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EMISSIONS: A Danish company building a chemical plant across from a West Virginia elementary school touts itself as a “net carbon negative company” but plans to release volatile organic compounds at the site. (In These Times/VICE)

COMMENTARY:
• Texas lawmakers should pass legislation to require the state’s utilities to winterize their operations as the “right move,” writes a state newspaper. (Herald-Banner)
• Florida’s plans to combat the effects of climate change by raising structures and building sea walls must be accompanied by a shift from fossil fuels to clean energy, writes a former federal official and climate advocate. (Miami Herald)

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.