PIPELINES: One of the companies behind the controversial Byhalia Connection pipeline asks for a “mutual pause” in its dispute with the Memphis City Council, saying it will suspend construction if the city pauses its consideration of an ordinance that could make it harder to build. (Associated Press)

RENEWABLES: Houston’s April 2020 deal to buy an estimated 492 MW of solar capacity led the country as the largest single purchase of renewable energy in a record-setting year. (GreenBiz)

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SOLAR:
• Samsung considers developing 700 MW of solar power in Texas beginning in June 2022. (Reuters)
• A Louisiana council denies a request for tax incentives by a company hoping to build a solar farm in the West Baton Rouge parish. (West Side Journal)
• An Israeli energy company announces plans for a 20 MW solar farm in central Virginia. (Roanoke Times)
• A solar roof with 1.6 MW of power is completed at a tractor parts factory in Florida. (Solar Power World)
• Kentucky unveils a new online tool to help companies locate reclaimed mine lands for large solar projects. (Kentucky Today)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Virginia Tech and Blacksburg, Virginia, replace five diesel buses with electric models as their first step toward an all-electric fleet. (Roanoke Times)

POLITICS:
• U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia endorses the Department of Energy’s plan to spend $109.5 million on coal communities affected by energy transition. (WV News)
• Manchin, who is a key vote in Biden’s clean-energy agenda, says states should start lining up infrastructure projects for likely funding but nods toward a GOP package that’s much smaller than his party’s version. (Ohio Valley ReSource, WV Metro News, CNBC)
• U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana complains that President Joe Biden’s climate ambitions ignore the country’s ongoing dependence on fossil fuels. (S&P Global)
• The more moderate of two candidates on energy issues wins a runoff election for a Louisiana congressional seat, with another special election coming in Texas this week. (E&E News, subscription)

NUCLEAR: A Pennsylvania company pays to settle allegations it submitted false claims to the Tennessee Valley Authority for services at an eastern Tennessee nuclear plant. (The Daily Times)

CARBON: The University of North Carolina accelerates its carbon-neutrality pledge from 2050 to 2040. (Daily Tar Heel)

GRID: Florida Power & Light replaces wooden power poles with concrete ones and makes other grid improvements in Florida. (Punta Gorda Sun)

UTILITIES: Clean energy advocates hope Biden’s new appointees to the Tennessee Valley Authority board will accelerate its progress toward carbon reduction goals. (E&E News, subscription)

OVERSIGHT: Virginia establishes an office dedicated to environmental justice within its environmental regulation agency. (Virginia Mercury)

COMMENTARY:
• Virginia’s public schools are leading the state’s shift toward renewables, writes a Maryland-based solar businessperson. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
• A clean fuels advocate touts electric vehicles and more than 400 charging outlets at 169 public charging stations across Alabama. (Alabama Political Reporter)
• Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ stated commitment to climate and the environment will soon be tested by a slate of passed legislation that hamstrings local control on energy, writes a climate organizer. (Tampa Bay Times)
• A columnist and economist greets an acknowledgement by the United Mine Workers of the clean energy transition as a positive step toward “realism.” (New York Times)

Mason Adams

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.