OIL & GAS: Texas energy regulators defer the approval of flaring requests by oil companies, likely signalling a more critical look at the controversial practice. (Bloomberg)

ALSO:
• Shale producer Chesapeake Energy emerges from bankruptcy with a plan to move away from oil and instead focus on natural gas in Louisiana and the Northeast. (Reuters)
• A Kentucky county considers criminal charges in its investigation of a $400,000 loan to a company that promised a natural-gas-to-liquid-fuel plant but never followed through. (Appalachian News-Express)
• Bahamas Petroleum Company will cap an offshore well 150 miles off Florida’s coast after it failed to find commercial quantities of oil. (Herald-Mail Media)

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SOLAR:
• A Texas county approves a tax abatement program for solar projects as residents debate whether a proposed 300 MW solar farm should receive the abatement. (Brownwood Bulletin)
• A coastal Virginia school system partners with a solar company to install solar systems at seven of its nine schools. (Smithfield Times)
• A company applies to build a 3.9 MW solar farm in Georgia. (WMGT)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Arkansas’s environmental agency begins a rebate program for installations of public and private electric-vehicle chargers. (Magnolia Reporter)
• An Arkansas city pursues installation of its first electric-vehicle charger at the city library. (Siloam Springs Herald-Leader)

NUCLEAR: Federal officials consider significantly expanding a temporary nuclear waste storage site in west Texas. (Texas Tribune)

COAL ASH: A Texas company goes into business near the state’s coal-fired Sandy Creek power plant to develop technology that removes toxins from coal and metals from coal ash while producing hydrogen for cleaner electricity. (Waco Tribune-Herald)

PIPELINES:
• Federal and Tennessee state officials approve permits for a 49-mile pipeline in Tennessee and Mississippi. (Memphis Flyer)
• West Virginia U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, energy committee chairman and key swing vote in the narrowly divided Senate, urges President Joe Biden to reconsider his cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline. (Reuters)

OVERSIGHT: Florida lawmakers appoint a veteran lobbyist to be consumers’ chief advocate in utility rate cases before state regulators. (Tampa Bay Times)

CLIMATE: Eighteen cities and counties in eastern Florida, along with Florida Audubon and other partners, form a regional initiative to measure and reduce greenhouse gas emissions(Daytona Beach News-Journal)

COAL:
• A judge will decide in March whether to approve a proposed settlement for 1,700 workers in central Appalachia and Wyoming who were laid off by bankrupt coal company Blackjewel. (KTWO)
• Alabama’s coal trade association rebrands to include other forms of mining. (Daily Mountain Eagle)

COMMENTARY:
• A North Carolina resident says EPA nominee Michael Regan failed to protect the state from the effects of hog farms now engaged in a biogas endeavor. (Food & Water Watch)
• Virginia lawmakers must take a variety of approaches to tackle the state’s transportation pollution problems, writes a member of Virginia Clinicians for Climate Action. (Roanoke Times)
• Georgia Power must relinquish its grip on state lawmakers to allow effective progress on clean-up of toxic coal ash, writes the co-owner of more than two dozen Southeast community newspapers. (Newnan Times-Herald)

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.