ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Mercedes opens an electric vehicle battery factory in Alabama to support its plans to make two electric SUVs at a nearby assembly plant. (Associated Press)

ALSO: Oklahoma’s governor comes under criticism for inking a deal to purchase vehicles from electric vehicle maker Canoo without taking bids. (KFOR)

• Three Memphis, Tennessee, council members call for the city’s independent energy consultant to oversee bidding on the municipal utility’s electricity supply as the city considers leaving the Tennessee Valley Authority. (Commercial Appeal)
• The Tennessee Valley Authority has created a new, Memphis-based vice presidency to sway the city’s decision of whether to dump the federal power company. (WKNO)

• Disney World’s Epcot Center operated an Exxon-sponsored ride for 35 years that used celebrities to extol the benefits of fossil fuels. (The Guardian)
• A new report shows the Texas oil and gas industry added 16,000 jobs over the past year amid growing global demand. (KSAT)
• The president of Texas Oil & Gas Association blames high gas prices on canceled pipeline projects, delayed permit approvals, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and says the U.S. should respond by loosening restrictions on fossil fuels. (KLTV)

• Louisiana homeowners brace for drastic changes in a federal flood insurance program that officials say will make it more fair and solvent, but which have provoked worry and calls for greater transparency. (The Advocate, subscription)
• Puerto Rico’s public utility struggles to reach renewable energy goals set by a 2019 law, raising questions about its commitment to the mandate. (Inside Climate News)  

• Texas and other states are passing legislation to steer away from doing business with financial groups that divest from fossil fuels, and the push seems to already be yielding some results. (NPR)
• Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin releases a report evaluating the state’s participation in a regional carbon market and begins the regulatory process to withdraw from it. (news release, WRIC)
• Texas voters will have the opportunity to vote for one of three seats on the Texas Railroad Commission, a regulatory board that went easy on the natural gas industry after last year’s winter storm and subsequent power failures. (Texas Tribune)

SOLAR: A Virginia county board approves a permit for a 3 MW solar farm. (Virginia Gazette)

NUCLEAR: Kentucky lawmakers advance a bill to authorize a feasibility study of advanced nuclear energy technology for power generation. (WTVQ)

• An editorial board calls on President Biden to reinstate a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline to bring oil to Texas refineries and reduce reliance on exports. (Dallas Morning News)
• Virginia regulators should cut Dominion Energy’s proposed minimum monthly bill of $55 for ratepayers in a shared solar program, writes the CEO of a renewables company. (Daily Progress)
• A Memphis news anchor calls on the city to hire experts to oversee the municipal utility’s bidding process to award an electricity contract to ensure the process is being done properly. (WATN)

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.