PIPELINES: A circuit court judge orders tree sitters blocking the Mountain Valley Pipeline to leave a southwestern Virginia encampment they have occupied for more than two years. (Roanoke Times)

COAL: American Electric Power will refurbish three coal-fired plants in West Virginia and one in Arkansas with new coal ash-handling systems to meet EPA requirements. (The Intelligencer)

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• Residents of a central Virginia county encourage the board of supervisors to review and update ordinances to allow solar farms. (Lynchburg News & Advance)
• With its divestment from natural gas and addition of 500 MW of solar in Virginia this year, Dominion Energy’s new chairman says the utility is the third largest owner of solar capacity in the nation. (Utility Dive)
• Residents of a Georgia county speak in favor of rezoning nearly 2,900 acres for a solar farm. (Americus Times-Recorder)
• North Carolina’s utility customer advocate has come out against Duke Energy’s planned 5 MW solar farm near Asheville because of its high cost relative to other solar facilities. (Charlotte Business Journal)
• FirstEnergy announces it will build a 50 MW solar facility in West Virginia as it transitions from coal-fired power, with a goal of a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2050. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

• Texas oil and gas executives say they anticipate more regulations and added costs from President-elect Joe Biden’s administration, but not major job losses. (KIII-TV)
• Baker Hughes partners with a fastener company in an effort to expand its business beyond its traditional footprint in oil and gas. (Laredo Morning Times)
• The oil and gas bust is affecting real estate values in West Texas, as the average price of U.S. shale acreage has fallen more than 70% in two years. (Houston Chronicle)

TRANSITION: Mayors in Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia call for a “Marshall Plan for Middle America” to replace 100,000 fossil fuel jobs in the Ohio River Valley with climate-friendly industry. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

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UTILITIES: Dominion Energy partners with electric cooperatives to expand broadband access in rural Virginia. (Daily Energy Insider)

COMMENTARY: A collaboration between Smithfield Foods and Dominion Energy to collect biogas from pig farms will pollute air, dirty waterways and harm the health of surrounding communities in North Carolina, writes a rural organizer. (Fayetteville Observer)

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.