POLITICS: Florida lawmakers advance a pair of bills that would prevent local governments from blocking or restricting construction of “energy infrastructure” or banning natural gas hookups in new construction. (Tampa Bay Times)

PIPELINES:
• Former Vice President Al Gore will speak at a rally Sunday in Memphis to oppose the Byhalia Connection pipeline. (MLK50)
• The planned 49-mile pipeline, which would carry oil from a Memphis refinery and connect to two pipelines in Mississippi, faces growing opposition. (Mississippi Business Journal)

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SOLAR:
• Nashville’s mayor approves the installation of over 9,000 solar panels as part of three large projects at the city’s water department facilities. (WSMV-TV)
• Solar could account for 20% of Mississippi’s total electric generation if eight proposed projects totaling 806 MW are completed. (Northside Sun)  
• An Arkansas rice producer wins regulatory approval to build the state’s largest commercial solar and storage system at one of its facilities. (Arkansas Business)
• A Virginia county board’s discussion before approving a 20 MW solar farm suggests it may rethink where the projects should be allowed. (Times-Dispatch) 
• Solar power is gaining popularity in West Virginia’s eastern panhandle as consumers seek ways to reduce their electric bills. (WDVM-TV)
• The nonprofit supporting a West Virginia solar cooperative selects a Huntington-based company to install the projects. (Herald-Dispatch)

TRANSITION:
• The author of a recent academic report on a proposed clean energy transition in West Virginia discusses the importance of combining it with economic development and land reclamation. (American Prospect)
• The director of West Virginia University’s Energy Institute will testify this morning before a U.S. Senate committee on energy infrastructure. (WV News)

OIL & GAS:
• West Virginia’s House energy committee approves a bill critics say will result in lowering local property taxes for oil and gas wells. (Gazette-Mail)
• As the oil and gas industry declines, some Oklahoma manufacturers shift from the energy industry to building parts for the aerospace sector. (Oklahoman) 
• Geologists share concerns about drilling for oil under Florida’s Big Cypress National Preserve, which could require building small dams that alter water flow. (National Parks Traveler)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A five-year-old North Carolina company aims to be a major supplier of lithium for use in electric vehicle batteries. (Wall Street Journal)

WIND: A wind farm under construction in Texas will have one of the world’s largest batteries when it is completed in the first half 2022. (Times Record News)

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CLIMATE:
• A new study shows that coastal communities are experiencing “surprisingly large” sea level rise as coastal land sinks, compounding the problem. (CNN)
• Investor-owned utilities will need to invest an additional $500 billion to harden infrastructure against climate change risks, according to a report. (Utility Dive)  

COMMENTARY:
• Florida’s legislature is attacking local progress on climate change with an alarming package of bills to undermine community efforts, an assistant professor and climate justice advocate write. (SunSentinel)
• A South Carolina state representative says investments in clean energy and infrastructure benefit the state’s economy. (Post and Courier)
• President Biden should take executive action to halt the Mountain Valley Pipeline, an environmental advocate writes. (NRDC)

Dan Haugen

Dan Haugen

Dan has two decades' experience working in print, digital and broadcast media. Prior to joining the Energy News Network as managing editor in December 2017, he oversaw watchdog reporting at the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, part of the USA Today Network, and before that spent several years as a freelance journalist covering energy, business and technology. Dan is a former Midwest Energy News journalism fellow and a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and mass communications from University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.