UTILITIES: North Carolina regulators tighten rules around political spending by Duke Energy and other utilities, saying the companies cannot recover political spending costs from ratepayers but can spend profits on lobbying, political contributions, and PR-boosting ads. (Energy News Network) 

• A new subsidiary of Tesla files paperwork with state regulators to sell electricity on Texas’ retail market. (Texas Monthly, CNBC)
• A municipal utility in Texas increases the minimum distance required between power lines and new buildings after a construction worker was electrocuted, but developers argue the change makes new homes harder to build. (Austin Monitor)

OVERSIGHT: Texas regulators discuss making the biggest changes to the state’s power market since it was deregulated in 2001, including a shift to ensure better reliability by paying suppliers to commit to certain levels of generation years into the future. (Dallas Morning News)

• A CO2 pipeline leak in Mississippi sickened dozens of people last year and raises questions about a massive planned buildout of pipelines for carbon capture. (HuffPost)
• Virginia regulators issue a draft water quality certification for the Mountain Valley Pipeline that, if approved, would allow it to build across state wetlands and waterbodies and remove one of several obstacles to completion. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

RENEWABLES: Texas led the country by adding 1,489 MW of wind, solar and battery storage during a second quarter that brought the U.S. to a record 9.9 GW of renewable installations for the first half of the year. (Renewables Now)

SOLAR: A Kentucky county board votes down two proposed industrial solar ordinances, denying any proposed projects until its planning commission addresses the issue in the county’s comprehensive plan. (WTVQ)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A South Carolina authority wins a $1.3 million federal grant to support logistics companies’ shifts to electric and energy-efficient trucks. (Charleston Regional Business Journal)

COAL: Alabama regulators sue a coal company owned by the family of West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice for repeatedly violating federal air pollution regulations and failing to make needed repairs to limit “visible emissions.” (E&E News)

• Oil companies begin to shut down production and remove workers in the Gulf of Mexico ahead of a possible weekend hurricane. (Reuters)
• Pipeline and maintenance projects in Arizona and California limit westbound transmission from the Permian Basin, putting pressure on natural gas prices as operators funnel more gas north to Oklahoma. (S&P Global)
• A natural gas company blames “a technical issue” for the explosion that rattled and cracked an Alabama convention center earlier this week. (Selma Times-Journal)

GRID: Texas regulators unanimously approve a draft of new electric weatherization standards to shore up the state’s power grid for the upcoming winter season, with additional requirements for summer winterization to come next year. (KHOU)

ENERGY EFFICIENCY: Dominion Energy expands a program offering financial incentives for energy efficiency improvements to cover heating and cooling systems. (Columbia Business Report)

COMMENTARY: Congress’s $3.5 trillion “soft” infrastructure proposal would diversify Appalachian economies, bring in new revenue streams and retrain workers for a clean energy economy, writes an eighth generation Appalachian in Tennessee. (Progressive Magazine)

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.