OIL & GAS: A plan to drill three natural gas wells next to a daycare center attended mainly by Black and Latino children raises health fears among families, but Texas law makes it difficult for them to fight back. (Associated Press)

ALSO:
• Oil and gas companies eye a potential increase in a tax credit for carbon capture within Democrats’ federal spending plan as a way to recoup billions of dollars on such projects, including a potential Exxon hub near Houston. (Inside Climate News)
• The offshore oil and gas industry in the Gulf of Mexico opposes a U.S. Interior Department recommendation to increase royalty rates to drill on federal lands and waters. (Houma Courier)
• A natural gas processing company buys two facilities on either side of the Permian Basin to capitalize on expected future growth of fossil fuel production. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)

PIPELINES: A Virginia air quality board will decide this week whether to approve a permit for a compressor station on the Mountain Valley Pipeline that opponents argue would worsen air quality issues for low-income residents and people of color who live nearby. (Chatham Star-Tribune) 

SOLAR:
• Duke Energy files an agreement with North Carolina regulators to update rooftop solar rates and provide more opportunities for homeowners to invest in smart thermostats and battery storage. (WRAL, Solar Power World)
• An Arkansas city unveils the first of two solar plants to power municipal buildings. (KNWA)

WIND:
• A 118 MW wind farm becomes operational in Oklahoma. (Journal Record)
• Louisiana officials seek feedback from the fishing industry about the potential for offshore wind turbines in the Gulf of Mexico. (KATC)

NUCLEAR:
• Federal officials eye Texas as a possible interim site for storing radioactive waste as they seek a more permanent federal nuclear storage facility. (Bloomberg)
• Federal regulators review an application for a 35 MW test nuclear reactor in eastern Tennessee. (Associated Press)

ELECTRIC CARS: Miami, Florida, is among the nation’s leaders in installing electric vehicle infrastructure as Florida Power & Light looks to place chargers along roads beyond the city’s urban core. (Utility Dive)

COAL ASH: Massive coal ash spills by the Tennessee Valley Authority and Duke Energy in Tennessee and North Carolina kicked off a wave of concern about managing coal combustion products that continues today. (Power)

GRID:
• A Texas regulator’s false claim that adding wind and solar generation and subtracting natural gas creates an unreliable electric grid is undercut by a federal finding that natural gas fuel supply was one of the main causes of outages during February’s winter storm. (KXAN)
• Critics say Texas officials have done little to prevent another winter blackout, despite the governor’s guarantee that lights will stay on. (KXXV)
• Puerto Rican businesses increasingly rely on microgrid technology after hurricanes Irma and Maria created ongoing reliability concerns about the island’s aging electricity infrastructure. (Power)

COMMENTARY: West Virginia regulators and lawmakers continue to protect coal, but their influence remains limited amid federal environmental restrictions and customers who desire cleaner energy, writes an editorial board. (Williamson Daily News)

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.