GRID: A Texas regulator says winterization and more power reserves will “make a big difference” after February’s storm-driven failures knocked out power across the state and contributed to dozens of deaths that experts say were likely undercounted. (KXAN; Austin American-Statesman, subscription)

ALSO: Entergy considers building new substations in a Mississippi county. (DeSoto County News)

UTILITIES: NextEra Energy and Duke Energy are among the 16 entities that submitted offers to purchase all or part of Jacksonville, Florida’s municipal electric utility. (Florida Times-Union)

SOLAR:
• Virginia regulators this week will consider bill credits and minimum bills for shared solar projects and determine the fate of a planned solar-powered neighborhood that would be the first of its kind in Virginia. (Virginia Gazette, subscription)
• A 2019 Arkansas law that allows third-party financing of solar projects is credited for solar energy’s growth to account for 6% of power generated in the state in 2020 — 60 times more than what it generated in 2015. (Texarkana Gazette)

OIL & GAS: A ethane “cracker” plant taking shape near Pittsburgh generates both hope and fear in Appalachia’s Ohio River Valley about the potential for a growing petrochemicals industry. (NBC News)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: North Carolina regulators will hold two public hearings this week on a company’s plans to build a mine and processing operation to supply lithium for electric vehicle batteries. (WFAE)

COAL:
• The president of West Virginia’s coal association brags the newly passed federal infrastructure bill is good for both power-generating and steel- and cement-making coal. (State Journal)
• Activists who successfully fought the Byhalia Pipeline in Memphis, Tennessee, now turn their efforts to stopping the Tennessee Valley Authority’s plans to store coal ash at a landfill near a predominantly Black, low-income neighborhood. (Tennessee Lookout)

OVERSIGHT:
• Experts warn the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to review the EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases could become one of the most important environmental cases the high court has decided — and doesn’t bode well for the agency’s powers. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• President Joe Biden names former New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu to lead the rollout of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. (Wall Street Journal, Lafayette Daily Advertiser)

BIOMASS: A wood pellet manufacturer with facilities across the Southeast has grown rapidly in the decade since establishing its first North Carolina plant and eyes further growth despite concerns over carbon emissions. (WFAE)

FINANCE: A Texas law banning state investments in firms that cut ties to oil and gas halts business for municipal-bond underwriters such as JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America and Goldman Sachs. (Bloomberg)

COMMENTARY:
• Powerful international financial firms that increasingly look to decarbonization as an investment opportunity create a flood of momentum against which Texas conservatives are trying to swim as they seek to protect fossil fuels, writes a columnist. (Houston Chronicle)
• Georgia Power is shutting down coal plants, but its reluctance to move toxic coal ash from often-leaking ponds at power plants suggests the company falsely thinks time will cure the problem, writes the owner of a Southeastern newspaper chain. (Georgia Recorder)

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.