MINING: A federal judge orders West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s coal companies to pay nearly $3 million for violations at eastern Kentucky mines and revokes several of their mining permits, including at mines that were planned to reopen. (Lexington Herald-Leader, West Virginia Public Broadcasting)

ALSO:
• West Virginia economic development advocates suggest millions of new federal dollars for coal-dependent communities could be used to develop a massive surface mine that’s been the subject of failed redevelopment plans. (Mountain State Spotlight)
• A Texas lignite mine will close by the end of the year, laying off 160 workers. (Longview News-Journal)

UTILITIES:
• Entergy says it will shut down aging natural gas plants in Arkansas and Mississippi in favor of a shift toward renewable power. (Talk Business & Politics, Associated Press)
• Federal regulators approve transmission rules for an energy exchange market that includes 15 utilities across a dozen Southeast states. (Utility Dive)

OIL & GAS:
• Oklahoma Natural Gas floats a potential “exit fee” for customers who electrify their homes that would exceed $1,300 for a typical customer. (Oklahoman)
• A petroleum products company announces it will invest $1 billion to build two solar-plus-storage power plant facilities in Texas. (Austin Business Journal, San Marcos Daily Record)

HYDROGEN: A plan to use $8 billion in the federal infrastructure package to turn the Marcellus shale basin into a “blue hydrogen” hub could be outdated by the time it’s complete because a cleaner way to make hydrogen may soon be cheaper. (Bloomberg)

SOLAR: A Northern Virginia town sets a public hearing for the expansion of a solar farm. (Northern Virginia Daily)

NUCLEAR: The Tennessee Valley Authority resumes operations at a Tennessee nuclear plant after 39 days offline for refueling and maintenance. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)

BIOMASS: A new wood pellet plant in Mississippi prepares to ramp up production as it nears completion. (Northside Sun)

CLIMATE: The mayors of two Georgia towns stump for passage of a $1.75 trillion federal spending bill that includes $555 billion for clean energy, combating climate change and lowering pollution that disproportionately affects minorities and the poor. (Georgia Recorder)

POLITICS: Virginia’s election of a Republican governor and GOP state House majority brings some uncertainty to the state’s comprehensive clean energy law, but energy experts say the new governor will have a hard time significantly weakening or even slowing down the law. (Inside Climate News)

STORAGE: A solar manufacturer acquires a 190 MW facility that when complete will be one of Texas’ biggest energy storage projects. (Energy Storage News)

COMMENTARY:
• The growing number of electric vehicles across Tennessee offers architects an opportunity to design innovative charging stations that merge form and function, writes an architect. (Knoxville News-Sentinel)
• Virginia lawmakers should close a loophole that allows developer-controlled homeowners associations to restrict rooftop solar arrays, write two clean energy advocates. (Virginia Mercury)

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.