POLITICS: Climate activists failed to flip North Carolina’s legislature, but some still see hope for clean energy policy next year — as long as Duke Energy is on board. (Energy News Network)

• Duke Energy and Southern Company are among the utilities joining a new lobbying group calling for a 100% shift to electric cars by 2030. (Verge, WABE)
• Florida regulators say localities can use $57 million from the federal government’s settlement with Volkswagen to replace diesel-fueled school buses with electric ones. (Florida Phoenix)

• San Antonio’s city-owned electric utility says it owes too much money on a coal-fired power plant to close it in the next decade. (San Antonio Express-News)
• A southwestern Virginia county reaches a settlement on unpaid back taxes owed by coal companies belonging to the family of West Virginia’s governor, with payments going to ATV trails. (Times West Virginian)

• A federal appeals court denies a request to stop work on the Mountain Valley Pipeline, upholding an agency’s finding that the pipeline won’t significantly affect endangered and threatened species. (Roanoke Times)
• Construction of a pipeline to a paper plant will disrupt trails and traffic in a northwestern Georgia community. (Rome News-Tribune)
• Pig farmers and eastern North Carolina residents respond to a planned 30-mile pipeline to carry methane from farms to a biogas processing facility. (WRAL)
• Dominion Energy begins a 4-mile natural gas pipeline in a South Carolina town. (WCIV)

UTILITIES: The Tennessee Valley Authority boosts pay and benefits for its president, the highest paid federal employee in America, while navigating a $5.6 billion pension shortfall. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)

COAL ASH: Environmental groups and neighborhood advocates scrutinize the Tennessee Valley Authority’s plan to move 3.5 million cubic yards of toxic coal ash from a shuttered Memphis power plant. (WKNO)

STORAGE: Energy companies use Oklahoma solar and wind farms as a testing ground for development of battery technology. (The Oklahoman)

EFFICIENCY: A report shows that nearly 322,000 energy efficiency jobs have been lost during the pandemic, including more than 18,000 in Florida. (WJCT)

• Energy developer Invenergy launches construction of a five-phase, 1,310 MW solar complex spread across three Texas counties, and big-name commercial customers already are signing up. (Greentech Media, Chicago Business Journal)
• Steel producer Nucor signs a 15-year agreement to buy power from a 250 MW solar facility set to be built in Texas. (PV Magazine)
• Silicon Ranch announces plans for a $55 million, 68 MW solar project in central Georgia. (WMAZ)

GRID: Xcel Energy nears completion of a new transmission line in Texas and New Mexico. (KVIH)

CLIMATE: Republican leaders in Florida’s state legislature consider plans to address rising sea levels in coastal communities. (Daytona Beach News-Journal)

OIL & GAS: A new Louisiana State University study says the state’s oil and gas industry likely has moved past the worst of its pandemic-related downturn, though it may never rebound to where it was before COVID-19. (Bossier Now)

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.