COAL:  The Tennessee Valley Authority isn’t adequately protecting employees or contractors against hazardous materials at its coal plants, according to a report by the utility’s inspector general. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)

ALSO:
• A new study confirms coal ash contamination at a Tennessee playground and several other properties near the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Bull Run coal-fired power plant. (Knoxville News-Sentinel)
• Miners striking against Alabama’s Warrior Met Coal return to New York to protest BlackRock, an investment management corporation the union says is the coal company’s largest shareholder. (AL.com)
• The United Mine Workers of America sues a West Virginia mine for failing to provide a federally required advance notice before more than 100 miners were laid off in March 2020. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Georgia plans an aggressive push to persuade Rivian, an electric truck, van and SUV startup, to build a vehicle factory near Savannah or metro Atlanta. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
• Alabama’s governor announces a partnership with Mercedes Benz and Alabama Power to support the electric vehicle industry at the University of Alabama. (WBRC)

WIND: A western Virginia county says a 14-turbine project that would be the state’s first onshore wind farm missed a deadline for site plan approval and isn’t eligible for a pandemic-related extension. (Roanoke Times)

TRANSITION:
• The unionization of a West Virginia solar company illustrates President Joe Biden’s promise the clean-energy transition will create “good, union jobs that expand the middle class,” but many challenges still remain. (Inside Climate News)
• A report by the AFL-CIO claims Texas can create more than 1 million new jobs in wind and solar, transmission, energy efficiency and technology advancement by shifting from fossil fuels to clean energy. (Houston Chronicle)
• The U.S. Economic Development Administration announces it will invest $300 million in coal communities nationally, months after a working group named southern West Virginia as the area most in need of focused funding. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

SOLAR:
• A Louisiana parish approves land-use rules for solar developments following weeks of argument between landowners eager to cash in on clean energy and farmers worried about how agricultural land might be affected. (The Advocate)
• A Virginia city launches a “Solarize” initiative that provides a free solar assessment and access to discounted installation rates. (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star)

OIL & GAS: Shell opens a deepwater oil field in the Gulf of Mexico with 15 planned oil wells. (S&P Global)

PIPELINES: A federal agency recommends leaving in place 31 miles of installed pipeline and 83 miles of felled trees left by the Atlantic Coast Pipeline before it was cancelled. (Virginia Mercury)

EMISSIONS: The Norfolk Southern railroad announces it will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 42% from 2019 to 2034. (news release/Johnson City Press)

GRID:
• Texas’ grid manager forecasts that power demand will reach a record high this week amid a heatwave. (Reuters)
• A report shows that every additional gigawatt of transmission infrastructure on the Texas grid could have saved nearly a billion dollars in economic damages during February’s winter storm — spotlighting a potential talking point in the case for a transmission buildout. (Canary Media)

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.