ELECTRIC VEHICLES: North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s recent executive order on climate and equity revealed how fast expectations for plug-in electric vehicles are changing in the state. (Energy News Network)

ALSO:
• Volkswagen prioritizes scarce semiconductor chips for use in its electric vehicles as its Tennessee plant prepares to launch a battery-powered SUV. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)
• Virginia lawmakers advance a bill to create a $250 penalty for drivers of non-electric cars that park in spots reserved for electric cars. (WVTF)
• A Taiwanese electric charging company relocates from California to Texas for its more central location. (Houston Chronicle)
• A Mississippi city approves the installation of an electric vehicle charging station behind its city hall. (WXXV)
• A Texas city utility receives grant funding to install 10 electric vehicle charging stations. (KTSM)

GRID:
• Texas power grid operators and natural gas drillers prepare for a blast of winter weather that will test recent reforms to fix the state’s electrical grid and weatherize gas production. (Bloomberg, Washington Post)
• As winter weather approaches, some Texas gas suppliers are offline and could potentially affect 1,400 to 1,500 MW of power production. (KDFW)
• A Texas power company asks state regulators to intervene to prevent a natural gas company from shutting off its supplies over an unpaid $21.6 million bill from last year’s winter storm. (WFAA)

POLITICS:
• Democratic Texas gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke attacks Gov. Greg Abbott for the state grid’s troubles during a winter storm last year and says the problem still hasn’t been fixed. (KENS)
• Virginia Democrats, who hold a narrow majority in the state senate, go on defense against Republican efforts to amend or repeal sweeping clean energy laws passed over the last two years. (Virginia Mercury)
• Congress considers a bill to give federal regulators more power to impose reliability and security standards for natural gas pipelines after a cyberattack last year left the East Coast short of gasoline for days. (States Newsroom)

SOLAR: A Florida solar advocacy group kicks off an effort to amend the state’s constitution to protect rooftop solar and the ability of residents to install home solar systems. (Renewable Energy Magazine)

WIND: North Carolina regulators hold a scoping meeting for a proposed 45 turbine, 189 MW wind project on 6,300 acres on mostly agricultural and forested land. (Chowan Herald)

UTILITIES:
• Mississippi regulators approve a rate hike for Entergy and Mississippi Power to cover the rising cost of natural gas. (Northside Sun)
• A Colorado company that recently bought out natural gas distribution infrastructure in Arkansas and Oklahoma appoints three Arkansas business leaders to its board of directors. (Arkansas Business)

NUCLEAR: West Virginia lawmakers advance a bill to repeal the state’s ban on nuclear plant construction. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

COMMENTARY:
Coal’s grip on West Virginia politics can be seen in the advancement of a bill that would prohibit the state from using banks that actively avoid investing in fossil fuels, writes an editorial board. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• To mitigate the impacts of climate change, Florida lawmakers should set bold goals for electric vehicles, give more power to a state department of resiliency, and reject legislation to throttle its burgeoning rooftop solar industry, writes an environmentalist. (Tampa Bay Times)
• Nashville Electric Service should help customers struggling through the pandemic instead of cutting off an average of 9,500 customers per month since lifting its ban on electricity shut offs, writes an activist. (Tennessean)

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.