TRANSPORTATION: Amtrak begins operating a Richmond-to-D.C. commuter line, the first project under Virginia’s $37 billion rail initiative that aims to expand and streamline commuter, passenger and freight rail systems to reduce emissions. (Energy News Network)

CLIMATE:
• A Louisiana task force formed to address climate change has instead been used by the oil, gas and chemical industries to extend the state’s reliance on fossil fuels — particularly through carbon capture. (Southerly)
• The Texas state climatologist releases a report showing how climate change has exacerbated temperatures, rainfall, storm surges and flooding from hurricanes in the state. (Texas Tribune)

POLITICS: North Carolina lawmakers approve legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and allow multiyear ratemaking by Duke Energy, sending the bill to the governor despite concerns about detrimental effects on low-income ratepayers. (Charlotte Observer, Blue Ridge Public Radio, NC Policy Watch)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Tesla CEO Elon Musk announces the electric car company will move its headquarters to Austin, Texas, although it will continue to grow its manufacturing facilities in California. (Associated Press)

OVERSIGHT: President Joe Biden nominates a retired investigator and auditor to become the Tennessee Valley Authority’s new investigator general, a post that’s been filled by interim leaders since 2017. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)

GRID: Texans prepare for winter as lawmakers and regulators fret over delays and loopholes in requiring the winterization of power plants and gas infrastructure. (KRIV/KTXH)

STORAGE: Demand for solar and battery storage systems surges in Texas after massive outages during Winter Storm Uri, including one installer that’s seen more demand since February than in the previous four years combined. (Austin Monitor) 

TRANSITION: An organization in eastern Kentucky trains coal workers for new industries — mainly construction but also solar installation — as the clean energy transition disrupts the regional economy’s historic reliance on coal. (S&P Global)

OIL & GAS:
• Duke Energy and Dominion Energy are among the natural gas-heavy utilities considering using alternative power sources such as coal, nuclear and solar as gas prices skyrocket. (S&P Global)
• An oil leak at a Marathon Petroleum refinery in Texas results in nearby road closures. (KPRC)

COAL ASH: Georgia regulators set a public hearing on Georgia Power’s plan to retain coal ash on site at a power plant. (news release)

SOLAR: A Texas company announces it will market solar and storage services through Home Depot stores to customers who live in storm-prone regions, especially in Florida, Virginia and Maryland. (PV Magazine)

NUCLEAR: Federal regulators approve a Tennessee company’s plans to install its online monitoring technology in nuclear power plants. (Oak Ridger)

COMMENTARY:
• Elon Musk’s decision to move Tesla to Texas brings new problems to the company, including that Texas prohibits Tesla’s model of selling cars directly to consumers, writes an analyst. (Reuters)
• Florida’s plan to accelerate the electrification of transportation contains flaws but is a critical step toward encouraging electric vehicle use, writes a southeastern clean energy group. (Southern Alliance for Clean Energy)
• A legacy of radioactive waste undercuts a proposal to shift Kentucky from coal to nuclear power, writes a former investigative environmental journalist. (Courier Journal)

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.