Correction: North Carolina regulators initiated a rule-making process Tuesday for the state to join the 11-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. A previous version of this digest mischaracterized the commission’s action.

SOLAR: Environmental groups sue Alabama regulators over Alabama Power’s imposition of fees on customers with rooftop or on-site solar panels. (Associated Press)

ALSO:
• A Louisiana parish with no zoning rules considers imposing regulations on utility-scale solar plants, including setbacks and visual buffers. (The Advocate)
• Texas residents are waiting several weeks for solar inspections amid high demand for home solar after February’s storm-related outages. (KXAN)

GRID:
• Texas’ grid operator buys more reserve power as part of a plan to avoid catastrophic blackouts like those that brought the state to a standstill in February’s winter storm. (Bloomberg)
• In a hearing with regulators and managers of the Texas energy grid, state lawmakers focus on an energy market overhaul and the reliability of renewables. (Dallas Morning News)
• Texas utilities and private companies sue natural gas suppliers and the state’s grid operator over energy price spikes during February’s winter storm. (KUT)

EMISSIONS:
• State and local regulators struggle to gauge the level of methane emissions coming from landfills in Florida and across the U.S. (WMFE/Inside Climate News/NPR)
• North Carolina regulators initiate a rule-making process for joining an 11-state greenhouse gas initiative and to impose a cap on carbon dioxide emissions from power plants that will shrink over time. (Associated Press)

COAL:
• Federal regulators say a January coal mining death at a West Virginia underground mine was caused because Aracoma Coal Company didn’t assure safe underground haulage at an intersection where two shuttle cars collided. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• A central Virginia community uses federal money to fill and seal a historic coal mining shaft. (WWBT)
• A report on Appalachian mine reclamation finds that Kentucky has $1.9 billion to $2.3 billion in reclamation liability, but only $887 million in bonds. (WTVQ)

RENEWABLE GAS: A company says it will spend more than $1 billion to build a renewable gas facility in a Texas city, but wants the local government to create a special reinvestment zone for it. (KBMT)

WIND: A report hails offshore wind as an economic opportunity for Louisiana due to existing turbine blade manufacturing and the likely allowance of wind farms in the Gulf of Mexico. (Greater Baton Rouge Business Report)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Florida firefighters train to put out fires in electric and hybrid vehicles. (WOFL)

CARBON: A Virginia county pledges to make its government operations carbon neutral by 2040. (WDVM)

COMMENTARY:
• Influential U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia should support solar and wind energy with tax incentives in an infrastructure package to benefit his home state, write an engineer and renewable energy advocate. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• The Tennessee Valley Authority’s proposed closure of Kingston Fossil Plant must be closely watched and done responsibly to protect the surrounding community, writes the spouse of a coal ash worker. (Knoxville News-Sentinel)
• Regulators should reject rate increases by Florida Power & Light that would pay for fossil-fuel infrastructure in the state panhandle, writes the director of Florida Conservation Voters. (Herald-Tribune)

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.