SOLAR: Georgia’s solar industry has grown from virtually nonexistent 10 years ago to ninth in the country, even without subsidies and clean energy mandates, as tech companies build near renewable sources and rural communities look to create tax revenue and jobs. (Wall Street Journal)

ALSO:
• A renewables company announces plans to build a 50 MW solar facility in South Carolina. (GSA Business Report)
• An energy company announces it’s building a 1.5 MW solar plant in Arkansas with locally produced steel. (Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

CLIMATE: Louisiana pumps tens of millions of dollars into restoring coastland lost to increasingly frequent storms, but experts wonder if accelerating climate change means that money should be spent on relocating residents instead. (The Advocate)

INFRASTRUCTURE: Environmental justice advocates hope a $3.5 trillion budget package under negotiation in Congress will include funding for Georgia projects such as further cleanup of a toxic waste site affecting nearby salt marshes and a majority Black community. (Georgia Recorder)

OIL & GAS:
• The president of an oil-field services trade association says contractors and manufacturers will lead the push to a cleaner oil and gas industry through the development of carbon capture technology. (Houston Chronicle)
• A southern Virginia county will use proceeds from the state’s Volkswagen settlement to replace 10 diesel school buses with propane buses. (Gazette-Virginian)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A Georgia community celebrates the installation of its first electric vehicle chargers at the local library. (Albany Herald)

EMISSIONS:
• Texas regulators use vehicle emissions reduction funding for highway widening projects with the goal of “congestion mitigation,” resulting in outcry from environmentalists. (Inside Climate News)
• Arkansas has reduced its levels of ozone over the last decade but has largely stalled since 2016, according to a new report on the state’s air quality. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

GRID: Two former North Carolina Marines are among four people charged in a plot to attack energy infrastructure such as transformers and substations. (WWBT)

OVERSIGHT: West Virginia’s governor appoints the heads of the state’s coal and gas and oil trade groups to a recently reactivated energy authority. (State Journal) 

UTILITIES: Memphis, Tennessee, loses representation on the Tennessee Valley Authority’s board as a local lawyer’s term ends, even as the city municipal utility considers leaving TVA to buy power from a different source. (Commercial Appeal)

COMMENTARY:
• The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the need to enhance indoor air circulation systems in Virginia schools by applying energy efficiency audits and improvements, writes the director of the Virginia Energy Efficiency Council. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
• A southeastern clean energy group supports a settlement to increase Florida Power & Light’s rates because it includes investments in solar energy and electric vehicle infrastructure. (South Florida Sun Sentinel)

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.