SOLAR: Louisiana officials held two hearings to try to balance concerns of farmers, lobbyists and developers as they begin a months-long rulemaking process for utility-scale solar projects. (The Advocate)

ALSO:
• Duke Energy begins construction of a 22.6 MW solar farm in North Carolina. (Mount Airy News)
• A Texas school board approves tax breaks for a 200 MW solar facility and 80 MW energy storage facility. (KVUE)

OIL & GAS:
• CITGO Petroleum agrees to pay $19.7 million to restore parts of a Louisiana estuary damaged by a 2006 oil and wastewater spill from its Westlake refinery. (NOLA.com)
• A gas company increases the number of wells it’s drilling and will consider a “business combination” to boost its natural gas reserves to support a proposed export facility in Louisiana. (S&P Global)

PIPELINES: A Georgia city presses Atlanta Gas Light for answers about repaving asphalt roads that have been damaged during pipeline construction. (Rome News-Tribune)

COAL: An Alabama coal company where miners have been striking since April offers a cash reward for information on damage to electrical transmission and distribution equipment on its property. (AL.com)

UTILITIES:
• West Virginia regulators begin accepting public comment on a proposal to sell Mountaineer Gas Co. to a Pennsylvania-based energy holding company. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• A Tennessee city council approves a plan for its utility to raise rates to improve the grid and provide a public fiber broadband network to customers. (Knoxville News Sentinel)
• High temperatures drive the Tennessee Valley Authority’s highest June peak in electricity demand since 2018. (WBIR)
• Texas groups offer assistance to homeowners in danger of losing power after the moratorium preventing utility shutoffs for nonpayment expires. (KTRK)

EMISSIONS:
• Tennessee officials hope the EPA will sign off on a plan to end mandatory car-and-truck emissions testing programs in five counties. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)
• Texas regulators argue they don’t need to make any changes to meet federal rules requiring them to manage emissions, including from coal-fired power plants, that affect how hazy it is at national parks and wilderness areas. (Houston Chronicle)

POLITICS:
• Congressional Democrats push for a revamp of transmission policy to clear the way for 100% clean energy goals and to fix grid problems like those seen in Texas’ February storm. (E&E News, subscription)
• A Louisiana congress member is named to lead a congressional Republican energy, climate and conservation task force to develop policy goals ahead of the 2022 midterms. (E&E News, subscription)
• A Florida Republican who previously acknowledged climate change flip-flops by challenging a federal administrator who said a changing climate is intensifying hurricane, flood and wildfire damage. (E&E News, subscription)

BIOGAS: Florida’s largest natural gas distribution utility and a dairy farm partner to propose a cow-to-gas facility. (Florida Politics)

COMMENTARY:
• Two former Virginia county supervisors complain that delays to completion of the Mountain Valley Pipeline are holding up economic development by denying the county access to natural gas. (Roanoke Times)
• An increase in natural gas prices from last year’s lows makes coal more competitive in the short term, but Appalachian communities should use the temporary bump to prepare for a longer-term transition away from coal, writes a newspaper editorial board. (Logan Banner)

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.