PIPELINES: Panic buying drains gas stations in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia as Southeasterners react to the ongoing shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline. (NPR, AL.com, Ocala StarBanner, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Advocate, The Mountaineer, WIS, WKRN, WTVR, Washington Post)

ALSO:
• The Colonial Pipeline sends workers to manually release stored supplies in Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey and the Carolinas as it works to “substantially” restore operation by week’s end. (Reuters)
• U.S. senators react to the Colonial Pipeline shutdown by grilling cybersecurity experts and calling for a shift in pipeline cybersecurity oversight from the Transportation Security Administration to the Department of Energy. (E&E News, subscription)
• The U.S. Department of Transportation considers temporarily waiving a law that allows only domestic vessels and crews to move goods between U.S. ports to ensure sufficient gasoline supply, while the EPA lets some retailers sell dirtier-burning gasoline than pollution regulations would normally allow. (Reuters, Politico)
• The FBI sends an emergency alert to electric utilities across the U.S. warning of the potential for more cyberattacks on energy infrastructure. (WPTV)
• The Mountain Valley Pipeline’s first eminent domain trial begins as a jury is asked to determine a fair price for the pipeline’s easement across a 111-acre rural property and custom-built home in western Virginia. (Roanoke Times)

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SOLAR:
• Virginia-based Sun Tribe Development dives into large-scale renewable power in Central Appalachian coal country with a plan to build a 75 MW solar facility within the Nature Conservancy’s Cumberland Forest property. (Energy News Network)
• Enel Green Power builds a 270 MW solar farm with a 59 MW battery storage facility in Texas. (The Eagle)
• North Carolina ranks third nationally for total solar power capacity, but only 31st for solar-powered schools, according to a new report. (news release)

COAL:
• The Tennessee Valley Authority moves to make good on its promise to end coal power generation by 2035 with a review of the Cumberland Fossil Plant, its largest and most polluting coal plant. (WPLN)
• Tennessee lawmakers approve legislation to shift control of mining regulation from the federal to state government, even though the state didn’t produce much coal last year. (Knoxville News Sentinel)
• Climate advocates complain as regulators leave loopholes for the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill’s coal plant. (Indy Week)

BIOGAS: North Carolina lawmakers advance an annual farm bill that would create a streamlined “general permit” for animal farms to add digester systems to convert liquid waste into natural gas. (Associated Press)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Virginia moves forward with bus electrification plans using $20 million of the state’s Volkswagen settlement funds. (Virginia Mercury)
• Alabama ranks only 48th for electric car chargers, but advocates say the state is moving in the right direction and is positioned to be a manufacturing leader in the industry. (WBRC)

CLIMATE: Miami-Dade County hires a chief heat officer — a first-of-its-kind position responsible for planning to protect vulnerable residents and communities from rising temperatures related to climate change. (Washington Post)

OIL & GAS:
• Lobbying by Texas’ fossil fuel industry may exempt parts of the natural gas system from grid reforms meant to prevent blackouts like those that followed February’s winter storm. (E&E News, subscription)
• Another release of toxic chemicals from an oil refinery in the Virgin Islands forces schools to close for the second time in less than a month. (Inside Climate News)

COMMENTARY: Bad decisions by Texas’ grid operator amplified problems caused by February’s winter storm, raising the need for tighter oversight, writes a columnist. (Houston Chronicle)

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.