POLITICS: North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and lawmakers in both parties receive mixed reactions to a compromise on major energy legislation that eliminates gas and solar mandates, aims to cut power sector carbon emissions by 70% and allows multi-year ratemaking. (Energy News Network, Raleigh News & Observer)

UTILITIES: Virginia regulators will determine whether Dominion Energy should refund $372 million to ratepayers under a 2020 state law that governs how utilities can recover the costs of fossil fuel plants that are shut down early. (Virginia Mercury)

SOLAR:
• Kentucky regulators approve a 55 MW solar facility on farmland in a rural community. (Times-Tribune/Kentucky Today)
• A West Virginia nonprofit celebrates the installation of a 122.2 kV solar array that included job training to help develop central Appalachia’s solar workforce. (Huntington Herald-Dispatch)
• A western Virginia county will consider a special-use permit for a 1 MW solar array to be tied into Dominion Energy through its solar program. (Augusta Free Press)

COAL:
• Federal regulators issued nearly 200 citations to West Virginia mines from March to December 2020 for unhygienic conditions that deepened dangers for miners working in tight quarters during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• A coal company owned by the family of WV Gov. Jim Justice begins reclamation at an underground mine that closed in 2014. (Bluefield Daily Telegraph)
• A company mining metallurgical or steel-making coal looks forward to congressional passage of the infrastructure package to spur demand. (Bluefield Daily Telegraph)

RENEWABLES: A north Texas organization works to educate underrepresented communities about clean energy and ensure people of color and women benefit from the surge of renewable jobs in the state. (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• A southeast Texas city adds its 11th electric bus. (Beaumont Enterprise)
• A transportation company’s sustainability officer says mileage limitations and the lack of an adequate charger network mean electric vehicles aren’t yet economically feasible for Arkansas’ transportation sector. (Arkansas Business)

EMISSIONS: The EPA issues a landmark climate rule to phase down U.S. production and use of hydrofluorocarbons, with implications for a Kentucky chemical company whose emissions were doing more damage to the climate than all the passenger vehicles in the area. (Inside Climate News)

OVERSIGHT:
• Virginia changes the name of the state Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy to the Department of Energy to reflect the state’s shift from fossil fuels toward clean energy. (WAVY)
• The U.S. Chemical Safety Board works through a backlog of investigations that includes a 2016 flash fire at a Sunoco terminal, the southern terminus of the Keystone pipeline. (Beaumont Enterprise)

BIOGAS: Two North Carolina civil rights organizations ask the EPA to investigate North Carolina’s approval of a hog-to-gas operation that they say would disproportionately harm predominantly Black and Latinx residents who live nearby. (Inside Climate News)

NUCLEAR: Federal regulators propose a $150,000 fine against Entergy for three violations at a Louisiana nuclear power plant. (Magnolia State Live)

COMMENTARY: Texas lawmakers should not act shocked about a regulatory loophole that lets oil and gas producers sidestep winterization after they ignored calls for more rigorous legislation and instead focused on banning abortion, making it harder to vote and trying to persecute transgender youth, writes an editorial board. (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.