WIND: Federal officials announce plans to lease nearly 200 square miles off the North Carolina coastline to develop an offshore wind project that could generate more than 1.5 GW of electricity. (News & Observer)

CLIMATE: Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards attends the COP26 world climate summit to pitch the state as a destination for global investments in low- and no-carbon projects even as it remains a key source of oil and natural gas. (NOLA.com, The Advocate)

GRID: U.S. energy regulators and power experts say Texas hasn’t done nearly enough to prevent a repeat of blackouts that occurred during February’s winter storm, largely singling out the failure to reform a natural gas industry that seized up, choked power plants of fuel and led to shortages. (Bloomberg)

SOLAR: Florida regulators approve a request by Florida Power & Light to build 3.5 GW of new solar at 50 sites over the next five years. (Canary Media)

UTILITIES: Virginia regulators approve a rate increase for Appalachian Power to pay for the higher cost of coal and natural gas but will wait until next year to decide whether to make the increase more lasting. (Roanoke Times)

COAL:
• A federal agency predicts that rising natural gas prices will lead U.S. coal-fired generation to grow 22% this year from 2020, marking its first increase since 2014. (State Journal)
• Retired coal miners say West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s coal companies repeatedly failed to provide prescription drug coverage promised in contractual agreements. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• A new report by an Appalachian advocacy group finds enough outstanding reclamation liability on coal mines owned by the family of West Virginia Gov. Justice to employ between 220 and 460 workers for five years. (news release)
Tennessee regulators schedule a public hearing about a permit for wastewater discharges at a coal-fired plant. (Oak Ridger)

EMISSIONS: The U.S. Supreme Court grants a review of a lower court decision that will test the EPA’s authority to regulate carbon emissions. (WV Metro News)

TRANSITION: West Virginia lawmakers convene listening sessions across the state to gather feedback on how to spend $39 billion in federal funding aimed at revitalizing coalfield communities and places that rely on coal-fired power plants. (WV Metro News, Beckley Register-Herald)

CRYPTOCURRENCY:
• Texas state and federal lawmakers angle to attract cryptocurrency companies even as the industry’s massive energy needs spur environmental concerns and fears about effects on the state’s already fragile power grid. (Texas Tribune)
• Two of the largest bitcoin mining companies fight for market share and inexpensive electricity while leasing parts of the same property in a small Texas town. (CNBC)

POLITICS: The Democrat and Republican running for Virginia governor flatly disagree on the state’s plan to transition the electric grid away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy. (Virginia Mercury)

COMMENTARY: U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin’s attacks on Democrats’ budget bill leave about $300 billion in clean energy tax incentives, which may be enough to convince world leaders the U.S. is serious about climate action at the COP26 conference, writes a journalist. (Intercept)

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.