OIL & GAS: ExxonMobil says it will end routine flaring, electrify operations and increase methane monitoring to completely cut greenhouse gas emissions from its oil and gas operations in the Permian Basin by 2030. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE: Black Lives Matter organizers apply the “I can’t breathe” chant and their push for racial justice to a new report that shows two companies in Memphis, Tennessee, are responsible for spewing carcinogens near Black communities. (Commercial Appeal)

EMISSIONS:
• Southern Co. subsidiaries Georgia Power Co. and Alabama Power Co. plan to retire or convert several thousand megawatts of coal- and gas-fired power plants because of federal wastewater guidelines. (S&P Global)
• A Virginia air board votes to adopt California’s low-emission vehicle standards, which are more stringent than federal guidelines. (Augusta Free Press)

SOLAR: Alabama regulators approve an 80 MW solar farm to be run by Alabama Power with electricity going to Mercedes Benz. (news release)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Ford intends to roll out customized curriculum for K-12 and technical college students to learn skills for its new Tennessee vehicle and battery plants. (Tennessean, subscription)
• Electric vehicle maker Rivian plans to open three service centers in central, northern and southern Virginia. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

GRID: Texas cities and counties submit ideas to state regulators for changes to the electric market and power grid in the aftermath of Winter Storm Uri. (KXAN)

UTILITIES:
• Ratepayers in Florida and the Southeast face rising electric bills even as natural gas prices have tumbled in recent weeks due to projections of a warmer-than-expected winter. (Palm Beach Post, New York Times)
• Southern Co. considers dividing and selling assets in one of its numerous holdings in gas, wind, solar and electrical utilities.(S&P Global)

TRANSITION: Virginia’s energy department issues recommendations to economically revitalize the state’s coal-producing region, which has long seen unemployment rates above the statewide average. (Kingsport Times News)

COAL ASH:
• The Sierra Club appeals a decision by Georgia regulators to allow Georgia Power to collect from customers $525 million in coal ash pond closure costs. (Capitol Beat News Service)
• CNN follows its report on how an Alabama coal ash pond threatens pristine wetlands with a map illustrating coal ash sites throughout the U.S. (CNN)

CLIMATE:
• Virginia releases its first coastal resilience master plan to provide a technical assessment of flood hazards, critical infrastructure and vulnerable communities through 2080. (Virginia Mercury)
• Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis dismisses a reporter’s question about climate change as “left-wing stuff” used by environmental activists to “smuggle in their ideology.” (Florida Phoenix)

COMMENTARY:
• The U.S. must ramp up its infrastructure investments to support economic growth and keep up with global competitors, writes a financial analyst. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)
• U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin illustrates the larger challenge for the U.S. and world in the clean energy transition, as he has reshaped Democrats’ spending plan by allowing incentives for clean tech while stripping out penalties against coal, writes a columnist. (Bloomberg)
• Texas energy retailers should incorporate better and more transparent business practices to produce more affordable energy for ratepayers, writes the CEO of an energy company. (Dallas Morning News)

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.