Southeast Energy News

Pressure builds against Memphis pipeline

PIPELINES: Opposition ramps up against a proposed pipeline in Memphis as a coalition of celebrities, neighborhood groups and a congressman pressures President Biden to rescind a federal permit for the Byhalia Connection, which would run through largely Black neighborhoods. (Memphis Commercial Appeal)

TRANSITION: A third-generation family owned coal-mining equipment company shifts its focus to energy storage as a local group seeks money to help other companies transition beyond coal. (Energy News Network, corrected link)

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GRID:
• Texas lawmakers and regulators repeatedly ignored, dismissed, or watered down efforts over the last decade to secure the state’s electric grid against extreme weather, public records show. (Texas Tribune/ProPublica)
• Analysts say fallout from last week’s power outages — and misinformation about the role of renewables in the crisis — may hamper efforts to move Texas toward clean energy. (E&E News, subscription)
• Texas’ grid operator asked for and received permission from the federal energy department during last week’s storms to exceed emissions and wastewater release levels. (KPRC)
• South Carolina launches a statewide review of its grid’s reliability and resilience in the face of extreme weather. (WLTX) 

POLITICS: The Texas power outages trigger a flurry of political activity, including investigations, a possible visit by President Joe Biden and policy discussions about power generation and grid reliability. (E&E News, subscription)

BATTERIES: Energy storage companies expect to grow after last week’s power outages, with investors seeking to capitalize on surging interest from homeowners. (Forbes)

CLIMATE: Georgia lawmakers advance a bill that would restrict localities from limiting what energy sources homeowners can use, which opponents say would hamper local efforts to attain clean energy pledges. (Associated Press) 

OIL & GAS:
• Gas producers benefited from outages across the Southeast as prices surged, while oil producers, refineries, and utilities took financial hits. (Reuters, S&P Global)
Oil prices jump as southeastern producers assess damage from last week’s storm and slowly begin to resume operations. (Reuters)
• A Georgia city buys a compressed natural gas filling station for its fleet of 12 vehicles, half of which are trash trucks. (Statesboro Herald)

COAL ASH: Georgia lawmakers debate whether to require utilities to remove coal ash from closed ponds. (WTVC)

UTILITIES:
• The outages and price spikes that roiled Texas lend new intensity to ongoing debate over whether local power companies should break with the Tennessee Valley Authority to buy power from outside suppliers. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)
• A contractor dies after falling from scaffolding at a Tampa Electric power plant. (Tampa Bay Times)

COMMENTARY: The Texas energy crisis exposed the flaws of deregulation and now becomes an opportunity to implement progressive policies, which explains why conservatives so quickly blamed renewable energy and the Green New Deal, an author writes. (New York Times)

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