TRANSITION: A secret, sweeping North Carolina energy bill announced last week fuels suspicion, skepticism and contempt over its reliance on natural gas, funding for a nuclear reactor and big changes to utility rates and oversight. (NC Policy Watch) 

• North Carolina’s Democratic governor says a Republican plan to shift coal-fired power plants largely to natural gas will “cost ratepayers too much, fall short of clean energy goals, hamper job recruitment and weaken the Utilities Commission.” (WRAL)
• U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia releases a 423-page draft bill that seems to be a wish list for the energy infrastructure spending portion of a larger deal. (E&E News, subscription)
• A West Virginia steel company adapts to the clean energy economy with a contract to produce supplies for ships to build offshore wind farms. (Huntington Herald Dispatch)

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• South Carolina implements new regulations to address complaints from homeowners who say they didn’t know what they were getting into when they decide to purchase or lease solar. (Post and Courier)
• Solar development receives increasing scrutiny in Louisiana, largely from farmers who fear being crowded out of land leases. (The Advocate)
• An Arkansas city partners with Ozarks Electric Cooperative to switch a recreation center to solar power. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

• A heat wave across the Southwest stresses the Texas power grid, prompting questions from state regulators. (Reuters, KTVT)
• Summer heat causes outages even in west Texas, where the grid is better linked to regional networks than the standalone state grid. (El Paso Herald-Post)

• Chevron temporarily stops production at two offshore oil and gas platforms in anticipation of a tropical storm. (S&P Global)
• Police investigate a natural gas explosion at a Texas power plant. (KIII)

COAL: American Electric Power seeks rate increases in three states for up to $317 million of environmental upgrades to three coal-fired plants in West Virginia, while critics press for the plants to close. (Utility Dive)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: West Virginia contemplates the infrastructure required to support a large-scale shift to electric vehicles. (WOWK)

OVERSIGHT: The leader of President Joe Biden’s interagency working group to revitalize coal and power plant communities tells a West Virginia conference that his goal is to “empower workers who are revitalizing their communities.” (State Journal)

WIND: A wind company announces its turbines produced record amounts of energy for west Texas and New Mexico this spring. (KFDA)

NUCLEAR: Miami’s mayor touts the city’s relatively inexpensive nuclear energy to entice bitcoin miners. (CNBC)

BIOFUELS: A Florida gas distribution firm signs an agreement with a dairy company to build a renewable gas plant near Gainesville. (Natural Gas World)

• Methane gas from the Mountain Valley Pipeline threatens to undermine the progress on climate change and environmental justice that President Biden has promised, write two climate advocates. (USA Today)
• Electric vehicles with capacity to act as generators may help reinforce the wobbly power grid in Texas, write officials at a think tank. (RMI)
• A Republican plan to shift North Carolina away from coal power may ultimately depend on how much lawmakers want to indulge Duke Energy’s monopoly status, writes an energy journalist. (Canary Media)

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.