PIPELINES: West Virginia regulators fine the Mountain Valley Pipeline more than $300,000 for repeated erosion and sediment control violations. (Roanoke Times)

• South Carolina regulators urge Piedmont Natural Gas to use an existing right of a way as it considers building a new pipeline. (Post and Courier)
• An Alabama-based oil and gas company sets up shop in West Virginia to support monitoring of the state’s 3,000-mile Cranberry Pipeline network. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

***SPONSORED LINK: Check out the Squeaky Clean Energy Podcast by NCSEA! Get a fresh take on North Carolina’s clean energy landscape with biweekly episodes. Available wherever you get your podcast or at: www.energync.org/podcast.***

COAL: Duke Energy announces it will close a 270 MW coal unit in North Carolina next month, with plans to retire the full, five-unit plant by 2024. (Utility Dive)

• Apple considers a Georgia facility to manufacture self-driving cars. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, subscription)
• A company that makes axles for Volkswagen’s electric vehicles invests $42 million to build a factory in eastern Tennessee. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)

• The West Virginia agency that oversees oil and gas production faces a $1.3 million shortfall, while its staff of well inspectors has significantly dwindled, alarming state lawmakers. (Charleston Gazette-Mail, WV Metro News)
• As Florida lawmakers prepare to name a new consumer watchdog, a former utility lobbyist is the only remaining applicant who hasn’t withdrawn. (Tampa Bay Times)
• Louisville hires its first energy manager, who is tasked with leading the city to achieve its clean energy goals. (WDRB)

OIL & GAS: President Joe Biden’s climate agenda could benefit Texas communities dealing with the toxic legacies of oil, gas and chemical production, but the state’s political leadership has pushed back in defense of those industries. (Texas Tribune)

BIOGAS: Environmental advocates and many North Carolina residents argue that a collaboration between hog farms and utilities to produce energy from methane will perpetuate longstanding practices that harm neighboring communities. (Grist)

WIND: Texas leads the wind industry to a record year that saw it more than double installations from 2019. (Bloomberg)

SOLAR: French energy company Total acquires four Texas solar projects totalling 2.2 GW and 600MW of battery storage. (Recharge)

• A Virginia electric cooperative that uses a coal plant and two natural gas plants to supply nine other electric cooperatives announces a goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. (Virginia Mercury)
• Duke Energy Florida names a new president who will begin in mid-February. (Tampa Bay Times)

CLEAN ENERGY: Florida environmentalists react with disappointment to a Tampa councilman’s withdrawal of a resolution for the city to transition to 100% clean energy by 2030. (Bay News 9)

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.