PIPELINES: A federal court throws out North Carolina regulators’ rejection of a 75-mile Mountain Valley Pipeline extension, pushing them to further explain their reasoning for denying a conditional permit. (Roanoke Times)

ALSO: A federal agency opens a public docket in its investigation of a 2019 Kentucky pipeline explosion, which killed one person, destroyed five homes and damaged 14 more. (World Pipelines)

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ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE: A disagreement between Democrats in the Virginia state house and senate undercuts hopes of a legislative fix to enforce environmental justice within the commonwealth. (Virginia Mercury) 

• The U.S. Senate energy committee hears testimony on the reliability, resilience and affordability of the electric grid in the wake of a near-collapse by Texas’ standalone grid during winter storms last month. (S&P Global)
• The lone utility commissioner in Texas who hasn’t resigned since last month’s outages claims the state’s grid operator only overcharged customers by $3.2 billion instead of $16 billion — a suggestion that was immediately countered by the lieutenant governor. (Austin American-Statesman, Texas Tribune)
• The Texas community that’s home to Texas A&M University expects last month’s winter storm will end up costing it about $48 million in additional electrical expenses. (The Eagle)

• Planners in a Virginia county unanimously recommended denial of a 149 MW solar farm for the second time in six months. (Culpeper Star-Exponent)
• An Arkansas farmer testifies to a U.S. Senate committee about his use of solar panels and participation in a carbon credit pilot program as evidence of the rice industry’s environmental friendliness. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

• The U.S. Department of Justice seeks $3.2 million from coal companies owned by the family of West Virginia’s governor due to violations of a 2016 agreement and of the Clean Water Act at mines in Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. (Associated Press)
• Alabama regulators order a company to stop spreading poultry waste as fertilizer at a former coal mine because it didn’t file paperwork or follow best practices. (Associated Press)
• A federal judge approves a settlement that would see Entergy Arkansas retire two coal-fired power plants and a natural gas plant by the end of 2030. (Talk Business & Politics)

TAXES: West Virginia’s largest business organization throws doubt on the passage of the governor’s proposal to eliminate the state income tax by spotlighting other taxes that would be raised, including severance taxes on coal and natural gas. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

OIL & GAS: A coastal authority throws its weight behind a yet-to-be-introduced U.S. Senate bill that would increase the amount of offshore oil revenue shared with Gulf Coast states. (NOLA.com)

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STORAGE: The South Korean battery company LG Energy Solution plans to invest more than $4.5 billion in its U.S. business after winning a trade dispute with a rival, including a potential plant in Tennessee. (Reuters)

• The blame for February’s Texas freeze and outages, which could reach a cost of $90 billion in direct and indirect losses, falls not on Democrats, socialism or antifa but on Republicans, who have controlled all three branches of state government since 2002, writes a state columnist. (Austin American-Statesman)
• A trio of proposals to enhance small-scale profits in Georgia at the expense of neighbors and the environment resemble “mule blinders” that restrict one’s vision, writes the publisher of more than two dozen Southeastern newspapers. (Georgia Recorder)

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.