ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Ford Motor Co. and Korean battery maker SK Innovation announce plans to build a $5.6 billion electric vehicle and battery plant in Tennessee and $5.8 billion twin battery plants in Kentucky, creating more than 10,000 jobs in one fell swoop. (Reuters, Chattanooga Times Free Press, Tennessean, WLKY, WAVE)

• Ford’s $11.4 billion plans reinforce Tennessee’s position as the southeastern U.S. leader in electric vehicle manufacturing with investments by General Motors, Nissan and others. (Jackson Sun)
• Ford’s record announcement comes during National Drive Electric Week, with events promoting EVs in Florida, Kentucky and Louisiana while a coalition of more than 60 southeastern organizations works on market and infrastructure challenges. (news release, WFPL, Daily Energy Insider, University of Central Florida)
• A Canadian lithium‐ion battery recycling company will build a plant in Alabama. (Tuscaloosa News)

• An analysis finds Entergy’s southeast Louisiana subsidiaries spend four times as much generating power as they do operating, maintaining and fortifying the electrical grid, which was knocked offline by hurricanes in 2012, 2020 and 2021. (WWLTV)
• Oklahoma’s 8,630 medical marijuana growers test the state’s rural electric and water infrastructure. (KCUR)

• The head of West Virginia’s coal association says a proposal for state residents to shoulder the cost of keeping three coal plants open until 2040 is important for local communities and the state. (WV Metro News)
• A new contract between coal miners and Peabody Energy in Alabama generates hope that state miners who have been striking against Warrior Met Coal for six months will be able to do the same. (Patch)
• West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice offers $300 million and half the value of his family’s coal businesses to settle an $850 million debt with a now-defunct lender. (Wall Street Journal, subscription; Charleston Gazette-Mail)

OIL & GAS: A new report finds that Texas regulators have failed to recuse themselves when arbitrating conflicts or determining penalties for fossil fuel companies they invest in. (KUT) 

CLIMATE: Care workers and first responders working on the front lines after hurricanes and other climate-driven crises call for big federal investments in climate, care and green jobs. (GreenBiz)

SOLAR: A solar company plans to begin construction next year on what will be the largest urban solar farm in the country on a former landfill in Houston. (KHOU)

POLITICS: U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia continues to hedge on Democrats’ reconciliation plans by casting doubt on a plan to tax carbon to combat climate change and raise revenue. (The Hill)

CRYPTOCURRENCY: Miami’s mayor and utility officials use a nuclear plant to entice cryptocurrency miners to relocate to Florida. (Wall Street Journal, subscription)

ENERGY EFFICIENCY: A Kentucky school district says it’s saved more than $800,000 in three years by renovating its building systems, converting to LED high-efficiency lighting and installing solar panels at two schools. (news release)

COMMENTARY: Texas lawmakers already have taken some steps to avoid widespread blackouts during a winter storm, but their failure to connect the independent state grid to the regional network ultimately leaves it unprepared for winter, writes an editorial board. (Houston Chronicle)

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.