OIL & GAS: Royal Dutch Shell sells off its oil and gas business in the Permian Basin to ConocoPhillips as investors and the public pressure it to reduce its use of fossil fuels and produce more clean energy. (Texas Tribune, New York Times)

ALSO:
• Critics criticize a provision of the federal $1 trillion infrastructure bill for giving $2 million to an organization that has advanced oil and gas interests, including lobbying for favorable well-plugging programs. (The Guardian)
• A federal judge rules natural gas producer EQT can block West Virginia gas leaseholders from moving forward with a lawsuit because it already paid out $53.5 million in a 2019 class-action suit — even though the plaintiffs said they never heard about it. (Charleston Gazette-Mail) 

UTILITIES:
• North Carolina manufacturers ally with environmentalists to oppose a bill with Duke Energy’s backing, in part because it mandates gas plants that almost certainly cost large ratepayers more than cleaner alternatives. (Energy News Network)
• Entergy asks Louisiana regulators for a rate increase to cover $2.1 billion in power grid repairs after last year’s hurricanes and February’s winter storm. (The Advocate)
• Groups continue to oppose Florida Power & Light’s request to raise rates because they say the increase is more than needed as ratepayers continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic. (WLRN)
• Dominion Energy files a plan with Virginia regulators calling for 918 MW of new solar and 103 MW of storage — about double last year’s filing. (Virginia Mercury)
• Virginia regulatory staff testify Dominion Energy earned more than $1.1 billion above a fair profit, but state law prevents customers from receiving anywhere close to that much in refunds. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

COAL:
• West Virginia regulators set a public hearing on American Electric Power subsidiaries’ request to increase rates more for federally required upgrades at three coal-fired power plants after Kentucky and Virginia denied those upgrades as uneconomic. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• A Kentucky city council approves an ordinance to allow Warrior Coal to mine for coal within city limits. (The Messenger)

GRID:
• Entergy customers file a class-action lawsuit charging the utility failed to invest in a more resilient grid before 900,000 of its customers lost power in Hurricane Ida. (WWL-TV)
• Texas regulators begin a search for eight new members of the board that oversees the state’s power grid. (KXAS)

SOLAR: A Mississippi regulator approves a 96 MW solar generation facility. (Picayune Item)

WIND: A federal judge sentences an Arkansas man who pleaded guilty and cooperated with prosecutors against two associates who were found guilty of fraud and money laundering in a failed wind farm. (Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

COMMENTARY:
• U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin can best serve his West Virginia constituents not by propping up coal but by supporting a stronger social safety net and Biden’s clean-energy agenda, writes a columnist. (New York Times)
• Kentucky localities should welcome the clean energy and economic activity generated by solar farms by allowing them to cut deals with farmers who want to lease their land, writes the president and CEO of a free market think tank. (Paducah Sun)

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.