ENERGY EFFICIENCY: The failure of North Carolina’s energy law to help people struggling to pay their electric bills sparks a push to use state budget funds to help poor residents repair and weatherize their homes. (Energy News Network)

UTILITIES:
• Florida regulators approve a rate increase for Florida Power & Light that could result in even higher bills if natural gas prices continue to rise, but which is also expected to accelerate solar power development. (Miami Herald, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Solar Industry)
• South Carolina’s state-owned power utility scrambles to keep costs down and obtain fuel after natural gas prices rose and supply chain and production issues complicated coal deliveries. (Post and Courier)
• The Tennessee Valley Authority’s CEO says the utility is working to retire all of its coal-fired plants and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2035 while holding its power rates flat over the next decade. (Johnson City Press)
• American Electric Power enters an agreement to sell off its Kentucky operations to a subsidiary of Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. (news release)

OIL & GAS: A new West Virginia law that changes the way oil and gas wells are valued creates uncertainty among property owners and producers who worry their tax bills will increase. (WTRF)

POLITICS:
• U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin pushes for cuts to clean energy and climate programs in a congressional spending package while his home state of West Virginia suffers from climate change-induced flooding and power outages. (Guardian)
• The mayor of Houston, Texas, advocates for an environmentally just shift toward clean power that will still position the city to “wear the energy capital crown.” (Politico)

WIND: A renewables company begins construction on a 250 MW wind farm in Oklahoma. (North American Windpower)

COAL: Three West Virginia groups ask state regulators to reconsider their decision to support plans by American Electric Power subsidiaries to keep three coal-fired power plants open until 2040. (Parkersburg News & Sentinel)

CLIMATE: A scientist tells Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards’ Climate Initiatives Task Force that the state’s preliminary carbon reduction strategies will fall far short of reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, largely because of its planned reliance on hydrogen fuel that’s produced with natural gas. (NOLA.com)

EMISSIONS: A new study from the University of Virginia suggests policymakers should target emissions from diesel vehicles to more effectively reduce air pollution that disproportionately affects communities of color. (Inside Climate News)

BIOFUELS: A company that converts non-recyclable materials into reusable fuel announces it will build a collection and processing facility in Mississippi. (news release)

COMMENTARY:
• West Virginia lawmakers should take heed of the voices urging a broader path beyond coal in communities struggling to reconcile their economic past with what comes next, an editorial board writes. (Parkersburg News & Sentinel)
• Arkansas utility customers facing increased electric rates due to the rising cost of fossil fuels can save money by shifting to solar and wind energy, writes a member of the Arkansas Sierra Club. (Jonesboro Sun)

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.