OIL & GAS: Royal Dutch Shell considers selling its holdings in Texas’ Permian Basin after a court orders it to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. (Reuters)

ALSO:
• Black and Latino communities in two Texas cities are disproportionately affected by benzene emissions from two refineries that exceeded the EPA’s “action level” in 2020, according to a study. (Inside Climate News)
• A troubled oil refinery in the U.S. Virgin Islands that sprayed oil mist twice this year could be at risk of bankruptcy due to significant loan defaults and a growing number of lawsuits. (Inside Climate News)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Alabama announces $4.1 million in grants from the EPA’s Volkswagen settlement will be used to build electric vehicle chargers at 18 sites. (Associated Press)
• A Texas maker of a lithium-ion battery component ramps up production in anticipation of more electric vehicles in the near future. (San Antonio Express-News)
• A lithium company prepares to move forward with an Arkansas test plant to convert lithium chloride from underground salt waters into an electric-vehicle battery component. (Arkansas Business)

COAL:
• West Virginia lawmakers respond to a state audit warning about the pending insolvency of state mine cleanup funds by handing off the issue to its congressional delegation in hopes of winning federal funding. (Charleston Gazette-Mail, WV Metro News)
• West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice presses Congress to extend a federal program to address the hazards left behind by abandoned mines operated before 1977. (Beckley Register-Herald)
• Coal companies owned by the family of West Virginia’s governor agree not to terminate retiree health care and prescription drug coverage as part of a lawsuit settlement. (Huntington Herald-Dispatch)
• Duke implodes power houses at a Florida coal plant that was built in the 1960s and retired in 2018. (WLFA)

WIND: North Carolina’s Republican lieutenant governor presses back against the Democratic governor’s executive order to advance offshore wind energy, raising questions about how the state’s energy policy should be set. (Carolina Journal)

SOLAR: A Kentucky county planning commission will hold a public hearing to allow a solar farm on 1,072 acres of largely agricultural land. (News-Enterprise)

COAL ASH: North Carolina regulators approve a Duke Energy plan to build the first of three new coal ash landfills to replace unlined ponds and basins at a coal-fired power station. (WFAE)

UTILITIES: Texas regulators vote to end a temporary ban on utility shutoffs for nonpayment that was put in place after February’s winter storm. (Houston Chronicle)

PIPELINES: Environmentalists emboldened by the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline press President Joe Biden to revoke permits for other projects, including the proposed Byhalia Connection Pipeline in Tennessee. (Bloomberg)

COMMENTARY:
• Dominion Energy’s extension of a “pause” on electric disconnections for nonpayment is less generous than it seems given that state lawmakers first ordered it and that the cost will likely be offset by regulators, writes an editorial board. (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star)
• A Dominion Energy official cites the grid failures and spike in energy prices following February’s winter storm in Texas as reasons why Virginia should not opt for electricity deregulation. (Roanoke Times)
• Arkansas’ largest utility should tilt away from natural gas and toward wind and solar as it considers how to plan the next 20 years of energy generation, writes a conservationist. (Arkansas Business)

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.