UTILITIES: The Memphis city council passes a resolution asking the Tennessee Valley Authority not to bury coal ash from the retired Allen Fossil Plant within the municipal utility’s territory — a symbolic gesture that also foreshadows whether the utility will continue to buy power from TVA. (Commercial Appeal)

ALSO:
• A Virginia electric co-op pitches a 20% fee increase critics say will harm low- and moderate-income customers and discourage consumer investment in solar or energy efficiency. (Energy News Network)
• Residents of a Louisiana parish see electric bills surge amid a newly approved rate increase and rising fuel costs that reflect growing natural gas and coal prices. (NOLA.com)

OVERSIGHT: A Congress member from Louisiana requests federal, third-party monitoring of air emissions of “nearly 150 oil refineries, plastics plants and chemical plants” to determine their effects on vulnerable communities. (The Advocate)

SOLAR:
• A growing number of Virginia planning commissions and county boards consider restrictions on solar energy development over concerns about views and land use. (WVTF)
• A Louisiana parish’s planning board votes to approve a zoning exception for a 2,400-acre solar farm. (American Press)

INFRASTRUCTURE: Memphis community activists and scientists consider threats to the city’s drinking water aquifer after months of discussion about the now-canceled Byhalia Connection pipeline’s potential effects. (Commercial Appeal)

OIL & GAS:
• Oklahoma landowners accuse a federal pipeline inspector of collusion with an energy company over a gas transmission line. (E&E News, subscription)
•  The head of West Virginia’s gas and oil association says that despite what he calls “the attack on all oil and gas” from President Joe Biden, he expects natural gas production in the state to continue to grow. (Huntington Herald-Dispatch)
• An Arkansas city approves the purchase of six compressed natural gas buses for its transit system. (TalkBusiness.net)
• A Tennessee school system purchases 11 propane-powered school buses, citing them as “much more affordable” than electric buses. (Johnson City Press)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Virginia policymakers consider the lack of funding for a state rebate program, highway user fees and how to grow charging infrastructure as they seek to support a growing shift to electric vehicles. (Virginia Mercury)

COAL: A Congress member says the decline in coal jobs is largely to blame for an 8.9% population decline in southwestern Virginia. (WJHL)

GRID:
• Oklahoma regulators receive criticism for placing the burden of $4.5 billion in additional energy costs from February’s winter storm on consumers instead of shareholders. (Ada News)
• Florida Power & Light plans to expand an electrical substation and build another transmission line in the Virginia Key area of Florida. (Miami Today)

COMMENTARY:
• A Texas city’s approval of incentives for a renewable gas plant represents a step toward greener power generation as energy companies also inch toward completion of new hydrogen and biodiesel plants, writes an editorial board. (Beaumont Enterprise)
• Virginia should continue to shift toward renewable energy but must also look to carbon capture and storage technology to buffer the clean-energy transition’s financial effects on low-income households, writes the director of the Virginia Energy Consumer Trust. (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star)

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.