COAL ASH: The EPA signals a crackdown on coal ash rules by rejecting permit extensions with broad ramifications for dozens of power plants, including one in Kentucky that will be required to fix groundwater monitoring to keep operating its coal ash pond. (Inside Climate News, NPR, WDKY)

• Newly proposed federal coal ash rules complicate Georgia Power’s plans to leave ash in unlined pits at five power plants. (Georgia Recorder)
• The Nature Conservancy uses money from a 2016 coal-ash settlement to fund the restoration of an 8-mile stretch of stream near a power plant in Louisville. (Louisville Courier Journal)

SOLAR: A Florida legislative committee gives bipartisan approval to a bill backed by Florida Power & Light that would change net-metering rules to restrict the expansion of rooftop solar. (Tampa Bay Times, Florida Politics)

WIND: A 999 MW wind farm — the nation’s largest — nears completion in Oklahoma and is expected to begin operations in April. (KGOU)

• U.S. Steel announces it will build a $3 billion steel-making facility in Arkansas with electric arc furnaces that are cleaner than traditional coal-fed plants. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)
• West Virginia lawmakers approve a slate of incentives to bring a steel recycling facility to the state. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

• A Louisiana climate task force unveils a nearly final plan to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 through shifting the state’s industrial base to renewable electric power and requiring heavy industry to switch from carbon-based fuels to sustainable hydrogen. (
• Virginia’s outgoing Democratic attorney general issues a legal opinion saying the Republican governor-elect can’t withdraw the state from an 11-state regional carbon market solely through executive action. (Virginia Mercury)

TRANSPORTATION: A Tennessee transit authority considers building a light rail system to carry workers 50 miles from Memphis to Ford’s planned electric vehicle and battery factories. (Commercial Appeal)

• Louisville Gas and Electric and Kentucky Utilities will retire 2,000 MW of coal power by 2036 but doesn’t plan to close its final coal plant until 2066. (WFPL)
• A Kentucky coal miner is killed when a tree falls on a company truck from loose ground on a high wall at a surface mine. (Lexington Herald-Leader)

• Electric vehicle maker Rivian leases a sizable former distribution center near Louisville, Kentucky. (Louisville Courier Journal)
• A western Kentucky economic development group works with local utilities and the Tennessee Valley Authority to fund and build strategically placed electric vehicle charging stations. (Kentucky New Era)
• A North Carolina transit system adds new electric buses as it moves to build a net-zero fleet. (WNCN)

OIL & GAS: Oklahoma’s oil rig count nearly triples from last year on the strength of rising oil prices and economic recovery from the pandemic. (Journal Record)

CRYPTOCURRENCY: A Houston-based company looks to act as liaison between Texas energy and cryptocurrency firms. (KTAB)

GEOTHERMAL: A Texas trade group promoting geothermal energy will launch tomorrow, with backing from large oil and utility firms such as Halliburton and Chevron. (Reuters)

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.