PIPELINES: The EPA recommends the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers not grant a critical permit for the long-delayed and over-budget Mountain Valley Pipeline to cross waterways in Virginia and West Virginia. (Virginia Mercury)

ALSO:
• A company that seems to be connected with a proposed natural gas plant in eastern Virginia sends survey letters to landowners in five counties about the possibility of constructing a gas pipeline. (Virginia Mercury)
• Environmentalists worry a Supreme Court ruling allowing the taking of state-owned land may revive a stalled pipeline that would run through Maryland under the Potomac River to West Virginia’s panhandle. (Maryland Matters)
• The abrupt cancellation of the Byhalia Connection pipeline results in the dropping of lawsuits against 10 landowners that would have resulted in the first Tennessee ruling involving a private company claiming eminent domain for a crude oil pipeline. (MLK50)

EFFICIENCY: The sprawling Quantico Marine Corps Base plans to save a projected $1.6 million annually on utility payments by refurbishing systems connected to 35 buildings and installing a microgrid. (Energy News Network)

GRID:
• Texas power companies respond to a new law requiring they winterize their facilities by filing with state regulators to request that ratepayers cover the costs. (Houston Chronicle)
• Opponents say a proposed Southeast energy-trading market under consideration by federal regulators will protect fossil fuel plants from competition. (Canary Media)
• Texas’ grid manager says last month’s conservation warning was largely driven by unplanned outages among coal and natural gas plants. (Dallas Morning News)
• Texas becomes a hotbed for cryptocurrency mining in part because power companies will pay them to curtail energy use during times of peak demand, meaning they “get power for next to nothing.” (Washington Post)

COAL:
• Powerful voices, including Kentucky’s attorney general and a Virginia examiner, push for state regulators to deny Appalachian Power’s request to keep three West Virginia coal-fired generating facilities operating through 2040 instead of shuttering in 2028. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• An Alabama miners’ strike against Warrior Met Coal for better benefits enters its fourth month. (WBUR)

SOLAR:
Construction of a 120 MW solar farm in southern Virginia divides residents who feel their community has been divided over money, betrayal and corporate interest. (Chatham Star-Tribune)
• A new Florida bank announces a residential and commercial solar energy loan program ahead of its grand opening. (St. Pete Catalyst)

UTILITIES: The Tennessee Valley Authority plans to add six natural gas units totaling 1,500 MW at retired coal plants in Alabama and Kentucky, as well as 10,000 MW of new solar by 2035. (S&P Global)

NUCLEAR: An audit by the Tennessee Valley Authority finds high risks in its chemistry program at the Sequoyah Nuclear Plant in Tennessee. (WBIR)

ACTIVISM: A North Carolina group collects signatures to put a Climate Bill of Rights ballot initiative to a vote in 2022. (Asheville Citizen-Times)

COMMENTARY:
• Texas Gov. Greg Abbott seems intent on abdicating Texas’s status as a world leader in renewable energy with orders that unnecessarily penalize wind and solar and ignore common sense solutions like connecting to the national grid, writes a columnist. (Houston Chronicle)
• Abbott’s plan to redesign segments of Texas’ wholesale electricity market to incentivize reliability rather than focus purely on low prices seems like a good approach, writes an editorial board. (Dallas Morning News)
• West Virginia lawmakers must grapple with long-term problems facing the state, beginning with coal mine reclamation costs that far outstrip available bonds to fund them, writes an editorial board. (Huntington Herald-Dispatch)

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.