COAL: President-elect Joe Biden’s administration appears likely to implement new occupational safety rules around silica dust, a byproduct of coal mining that’s led to an epidemic of advanced black lung disease. (NPR)

ALSO: Vistra announces plans to close a Texas coal-fired power plant by 2027 because of the prohibitive cost of meeting federal regulations for coal ash disposal and toxic wastewater discharge. (Victoria Advocate)

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UTILITIES: San Antonio’s city-owned electric utility solicits bids for 900 MW of solar energy and 500 MW of other generation as it looks to replace five natural gas power plant units and a coal-fired unit that it hopes to close by 2030. (Laredo Morning Times)

• Oklahoma oil and gas leaders dismiss the possibility of a widespread fracking ban under President-elect Joe Biden, but remain concerned about other regulatory changes that will affect the industry. (Oklahoma City Journal Record)
• The federal Maritime Administration will hold public hearings on a Dallas company’s plan to replace an offshore natural gas platform and build a crude oil export facility off the coast of southwest Louisiana. (New Orleans Advocate)

• Florida regulators approve a five-year pilot program by Florida Power & Light to add more electric vehicle charging stations across the state. (CBS Miami)
• Tampa, Florida’s city government adds nine electric vehicles for its water and development and growth management departments. (Florida Politics)
• A North Carolina electric cooperative partners with an energy company to develop an electric vehicle charging system. (news release/CleanTechnica)

• A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers draft review supports the crossing of a Dominion Energy high voltage line over the James River, saying there’s no better alternative. (Daily Press)
• Alabama Power plans to build an electric substation for an industrial park along Interstate 59. (Gadsden Times)
• Dominion Energy hosts a virtual session Thursday to collect public comment on its plans to replace a transmission line in eastern Virginia. (Daily Press) 

• A member of Virginia’s three-person utility regulation board is appointed to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and the governor will appoint his successor. (Virginia Mercury)
• South Texas environmentalists worry that billions of bird deaths will result from the Trump administration’s weakening of a historic law protecting migratory birds from threats around wind turbines, oil fields, power lines and other developments. (KXAN)

• More than 30 property owners in South Carolina receive letters from a pipeline developer informing them their land is no longer needed for the project. (Post and Courier)
• Virginia regulators decline to issue a permit for a pipeline that would cross forest and wetlands to supply a power plant that has yet to be built. (WVTF)

• Legislation opening the way for Virginians to install household solar systems has led to a flood of business for installers and developers. (Virginia Mercury)
• A family-owned solar installation business in San Antonio survives a COVID outbreak and rebounds despite the ongoing pandemic. (San Antonio Express-News)

• Texas Democrats and Republicans have an opportunity to find bipartisan solutions for climate change, write two individuals who are part of Citizens’ Climate Lobby. (Laredo Morning Times)
• A local magistrate and columnist contemplates the long history of mining in Logan County, West Virginia, while a post-coal future. (Logan Banner)

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.