PIPELINES: A ransomware attack shuts down Colonial Pipeline’s 5,500 miles of lines on the East Coast, leading to a scramble to avoid severe fuel supply disruptions. (Associated Press, New York Times, Reuters)

ALSO:
Colonial Pipeline begins to reopen smaller lines after what appears to be the most disruptive energy-sector hack in U.S. history, but its arterial line remains offline and company officials say they don’t know when it might restart. (S&P Global; E&E News, subscription; Politico)
A federal judge rules anti-pipeline protesters may challenge a Louisiana law that imposes a five-year prison sentence for trespassers, but finds landowners and environmental and community groups don’t have standing to sue over the law. (E&E News, subscription)

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GRID:
Texas’ grid operator confirms it forced dozens of natural gas facilities offline during February’s winter storm under a program that pays large users to shut down when power demand on the grid threatens to exceed supply. (Houston Chronicle)
A cluster of paid news sites designed to look like local news have falsely pushed the narrative that renewable energy generators are at fault for Texas’ February power outages and ongoing struggles to meet energy demand. (Austin American-Statesman)
San Antonio prepares a report on its February winter storm response that will wrap in the city’s municipal electric utility. (Texas Public Radio)
Kentucky releases a study intended to help communities achieve energy resilience and prepare for natural disasters and disruptions that can affect critical services. (Kentucky Today)

OIL & GAS: A report by an environmental nonprofit finds that readings for the carcinogen benzene jumped 233% between 2019 and 2020 at a Marathon oil refinery in eastern Kentucky. (WFPL)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
Oklahoma lawmakers pass new laws to study and impose taxes and fees on drivers of electric and hybrid vehicles. (KOSU)
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announces $9.4 million for five fleet electrification projects and $20 million to electrify school buses across the state. (news release)

COAL: West Virginia’s congressional and statewide elected officials push back on President Joe Biden’s climate initiatives — including crucial Democratic swing vote U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

WIND:
A North Carolina economic development director pitches a plan to develop a coastal community as a staging or fabrication port to make parts used in offshore wind farms. (Carteret County News-Times)
Texas considers what to do with wind turbine blades once they reach the end of their 25- to 30-year lifetimes. (Spectrum News)

NUCLEAR: The Tennessee Valley Authority and Kairos Power announce plans to deploy a low-power demonstration nuclear reactor in eastern Tennessee. (news release)

COMMENTARY:
Mercedes-Benz’s $1 billion expansion to make electric vehicles and batteries and the presence of Hyundai, Honda and Mazda Toyota factories position Alabama on the forefront of a national shift toward electric vehicles. (AL.com)
Louisiana has a second chance to become a world leader in energy generation if it shifts support from the oil, gas and petrochemical sectors to offshore wind, writes a columnist. (NOLA.com)
Texas lawmakers have responded to February’s storm by bailing out power generators and electricity providers, without substantially addressing the grid’s lack of adequate reserve baseload generating capacity, writes an energy analyst. (Forbes)
As Texas’ fifth-largest oil producer, the University of Texas should commit to end gas flaring, writes an environmentalist. (San Antonio Express-News)
Florida should lean into its renewable energy sectors as economic generators by passing more laws to encourage their growth, writes a college student. (Your Sun)

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.