PIPELINES: North Carolina regulators reject a proposed extension of the Mountain Valley Pipeline a second time after a federal appeals court requested further review and activists in Charlotte rallied against the proposal. (Roanoke Times, WCNC)

ALSO:
• Clean-up progresses in North Carolina’s Oehler Nature preserve where a pipeline rupture spilled at least 1.2 million gallons of petroleum. (WCNC)
• Georgia’s transportation department will hold its own public hearing on a proposed petroleum pipeline after residents said they weren’t happy with developer Kinder Morgan’s hearings. (Brunswick News)
• Utility CenterPoint Energy agrees on a $2.15 billion deal to sell its natural gas distribution businesses in Arkansas and Oklahoma, including 17,000 miles of pipelines, to Summit Utilities. (Talk Business & Politics, Natural Gas Intelligence)

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GRID: Cold temperatures from February’s winter storm, widespread power outages and Texas’ lack of laws requiring carbon monoxide alarms contributed to what an expert called the “biggest epidemic of CO poisoning in recent history.” (Texas Tribune/ProPublica/NBC News)

SOLAR: North Carolina regulators approve a 5 MW solar facility outside Asheville despite a ratepayer advocate’s concerns about the project’s cost-effectiveness. (Energy News Network)

UTILITIES:
• The Tennessee Valley Authority’s leader says the utility is on track to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2035, but needs technological advances in energy storage, carbon capture and small nuclear reactors to eliminate carbon emissions entirely. (Associated Press)
• Entergy Arkansas launches five wind and solar projects totaling 561 megawatts, of a goal of 800 MW by 2028, after a judge approved a settlement ordering it to close old power plants in favor of clean energy. (KUAR)
• New Orleans begins a formal probe after Entergy New Orleans shut off power to 25,000 customers on Mardi Gras despite a regional grid manager’s orders to cut far less. (NOLA.com)
• A coalition of environmental, social justice and public advocacy groups plan a meeting targeting Duke Energy’s “dismal record of greenwashing and foot-dragging on clean energy.” (news release)

NUCLEAR: Georgia Power’s expansion of Plant Vogtle makes progress after more than five years of delays, but the utility expects the project will likely blow at least one more deadline before going into operation. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

TRANSITION: Appalachian environmental groups hold a virtual town hall to support federal bills that would extend funding for cleanup of abandoned mine lands and encourage reclamation and economic development in reeling coal communities. (Charleston Gazette-Mail, WV Metro News)

OIL & GAS:
• A study finds that Louisiana is home to five of the 13 U.S. refineries with the worst emissions of cancer-causing air pollutant benzene. (NOLA.com)
• Power provider Southern Company agrees to sell its wholesale gas trading and services business, which brought in $200 million due to wildly profitable gas sales during the February winter storm. (Bloomberg)
• Previously bankrupt shale gas producer Chesapeake Energy explores a potential sale of its oil-producing Texas properties and an accompanying return to natural gas after a failed pivot to oil. (Reuters)

OVERSIGHT: North Carolina’s Republican-controlled state Senate grills the Democratic governor’s nominee to lead the state’s environmental agency in a contentious two-hour hearing. (NC Policy Watch)

WIND: Virginia residents train at a private college’s year-long wind turbine technician program as part of an effort to scale up the state’s workforce to support its offshore wind project now under construction. (Virginia Business)

COMMENTARY:
• South Carolina addresses climate change with coastal resilience projects, a rapidly growing solar industry and research-driven advances in clean energy, write two conservationists. (Post and Courier)
• The clean-energy transition is a long-term project that for now can’t leave out offshore oil production as a more heavily regulated, less carbon-intensive alternative to onshore drilling, writes an editorial board. (The Advocate)
• A clean-energy advocate suggests questions Dominion Energy should answer about its plans for power generation amid Virginia’s state-mandated clean energy transition. (Virginia Mercury)

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.