PIPELINES: The U.S. Forest Service approves the Mountain Valley Pipeline’s passage through 3.5 miles of Jefferson National Forest, and environmental groups sue to appeal the decision. (Roanoke Times, WDBJ)

SOLAR:
• A public-private partnership involving Amazon and Dominion Energy will enable a northern Virginia county to obtain at least 80% of its municipal electricity from a solar farm. (Energy News Network)
• A West Virginia city announces a 100 MW solar facility will be built on the site of a former explosives factory. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• An Arkansas city partners with a solar developer for two new facilities that will eventually provide all municipal power. (Talk Business & Politics)
• Gulf Power begins construction on a 74 MW solar project in Florida while seeking permits for a second plant about the same size. (NorthEscambia.com)

***SPONSORED LINK: North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association is offering a virtual clean energy continuing legal education (CLE) course on Feb. 2, with a specific focus on the Southeast region. Register today! ***

POLITICS: Southeast utility Duke Energy is among the entities that have suspended political contributions in the wake of last week’s riot at the U.S. Capitol. (Bloomberg)

WIND: Power generated by wind accounted for nearly a quarter of Texas’ power in 2020, eclipsing coal for the first time. (Financial Times, subscription)

COAL: A West Virginia county grapples with budgeting after its revenue from coal severance tax drops $1 million from 2019 to 2020. (Fairmont News)

OIL & GAS:
• The Texas Oil & Gas Association presses state lawmakers not to raise severance taxes in their upcoming legislative session. (Austin American-Statesman)
• A drop in revenue from oil and natural gas extraction contributes to a nearly $1 billion budget deficit in Texas — which is still smaller than many had feared. (KWTX, Texas Monthly)
Oklahoma’s oil and gas industry braces for President-elect Joe Biden, even though it operates on a relatively small amount of federal land, where he’s pledged to stop new drilling. (KOCO)

UTILITIES:
• Dominion Energy agrees to delay its request for a rate increase in South Carolina after catching criticism for trying to raise rates during the pandemic. (Post and Courier)
• Gulf Power and Florida Power & Light, which merged at the start of the year, ask Florida regulators to adjust rates so that the two companies are under the same structure. (Pensacola News Journal)
• Southern Environmental Law Center and two other groups appeal Alabama regulators’ decision allowing Alabama Power to increase its natural gas capacity by more than 1,800 MW while denying solar plus storage projects. (news release) 

COMMENTARY:
• With big investments in electric vehicles by General Motors and Volkswagen last year, Tennessee is poised to become a national leader in advanced energy jobs, writes the director of the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council. (Knoxville News-Sentinel)
• Virginia lawmakers should pass clean car standards in the 2021 legislative session, writes the energy and climate policy manager for the Nature Conservancy in Virginia. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

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.