POLITICS: President Joe Biden and other Democrats try to win support for clean energy and climate-friendly measures in fossil-fuel reliant states that have previously resisted policies accelerating energy and economic transition. (Politico)

ALSO:
• Texas lawmakers target wind and solar power for additional requirements and costs after February’s outages, but the industry around renewables has grown strong enough to fight back against, if not derail, the legislation. (Texas Tribune, Inside Climate News)
• West Virginia lawmakers largely fail to agree on how to boost the coal industry and help coal-producing communities during their 2021 legislative session, significantly trimming the scope of some bills or failing to pass them altogether. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• A state lawmaker introduces a bill to make Louisiana a “fossil fuel sanctuary state” that could nullify federal policies that harm the oil and gas industry. (NOLA.com)

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OIL & GAS:
• An energy company and local Louisiana officials attempt to revive the stalled Plaquemines Liquids Terminal, which would be built on a slave cemetery and emit more than 500,000 tons of greenhouse gases per year. (NOLA.com)
• A utility surcharge approved by West Virginia lawmakers in 2015 undercuts the declining price of natural gas to result in higher bills for ratepayers and an infrastructure bonanza for utility companies. (Mountain State Spotlight/ProPublica)
• Some landmen who previously sought and secured oil and gas rights for fossil fuel companies have shifted to lining up properties for solar panels and wind turbines. (Wall Street Journal, subscription)
• BP announces it will spend about $1.3 billion to build infrastructure in the Permian Basin to eliminate routine natural gas flaring. (Wall Street Journal, subscription)

PIPELINES:
• More than 100 people rally against the proposed Byhalia Connection pipeline ahead of a consequential vote on the project by the Memphis City Council. (Commercial Appeal)
• A previously built pipeline that connects the same points as the proposed Byhalia Connection has been ignored in the new pipeline debate. (E&E News)
• North Carolina officials say a gasoline spill from the Colonial pipeline may be larger than the 1.2 million gallons reported by the company in January. (E&E News, subscription)

COAL:
• Mississippi Power says it will close the last of its coal-fired plants and some aging natural gas plants to meet a goal set by state regulators of cutting 950 MW of capacity. (E&E News, subscription)
• San Antonio has moved away from coal power, but seen most of its greenhouse gas emissions cuts erased by rapid population growth. (San Antonio Report)
• A study produced by the West Virginia Coal Association shows the industry and coal-fired power plants combine to support 17% of West Virginia’s total economic output. (Herald-Dispatch)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: General Motors and LG Energy Solutions announce a $2.3 billion Tennessee battery plant that will support GM’s auto factory next door. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)

UTILITIES:
• North Carolina regulators sign off on rate increases and a negotiated settlement on coal-ash costs for Duke Energy. (Associated Press)
• Arkansas utilities say they’ll spread the cost of electricity from February’s price spike over multiple months or years. (Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

SOLAR: Two Virginia lawmakers announce a 60-75 MW solar farm on a reclaimed surface mine. (Bristol Herald-Courier)

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CLIMATE:
• February’s ice storm signals more hurricanes, heat waves and other climate change-related weather ahead for Texas. (Galveston Daily News/Inside Climate News)
• Florida stands at the forefront of climate change, facing numerous climate-related environmental challenges and the prospect of losing a third of its land area to rising seas by the end of the century. (Guardian)

COMMENTARY:
• Former Vice President Al Gore calls the proposed Byhalia Connection pipeline in Memphis a “reckless, racist rip-off” and explains why. (Commercial Appeal)
• A Virginia state lawmaker calls for former coal mines to be used for data centers, solar farms and other projects to revitalize nearby communities. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

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.