TRANSITION: Republican-led states such as West Virginia, Texas and Louisiana attempt to delay the clean-energy transition by threatening retaliation against banks that refuse to lend to coal, oil and gas companies. (The Guardian)

ALSO:
• A White House advisory group’s report on ways to invest in disadvantaged communities affected by climate change and fossil fuels attracts praise from an Appalachian advocacy group and scorn from a Republican West Virginia congress member. (The Inter-Mountain)
• Northern Virginia residents tour a retired coal-fired power plant slated for redevelopment as a mixed-use area with housing, office space and retail. (Washington Post)
• A Birmingham, Alabama, suburb replaces its gas-powered maintenance equipment with battery/electric or manual tools. (AL.com)

EFFICIENCY: Dozens of North Carolina businesses press the state senate to pass previously blocked legislation to require hundreds of prisons, public universities, and other state-run buildings to cut their energy use by a tenth. (Energy News Network)

GRID: Texas lawmakers pass bills to stabilize the power market and grid after February’s winter storm, but analysts and legislators say they need to consider a broader overhaul to provide direct relief to consumers. (Wall Street Journal, subscription; Texas Tribune)

COAL:
• A West Virginia town struggles with the health and environmental effects of noise and dust from an underground coal mine nearby. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• A federal appeals court upholds the convictions of an Alabama lawyer and coal executive for bribing a former state legislator to oppose environmental cleanup at a Birmingham site. (AL.com)
• West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice and his family’s companies sue a Virginia-based bank for making what they allege are “unfair changes” to loans made during downturns in the coal market. (Huntington Herald-Dispatch)
• Alabama coal miners remain on strike after several months. (NPR) 

PIPELINES: U.S. House and Senate lawmakers gear up to question Colonial Pipeline’s CEO after last month’s cyberattack disrupted operations and resulted in gas shortages across the Southeast. (E&E News, subscription)

CLIMATE:
• Texas U.S. Sen. John Cornyn says he is concerned “climate change has become a religion” that takes oil and gas for granted. (Dallas Morning News)
• Plans to build a $6 billion wall to protect Miami against rising sea levels spurs a conversation about climate change and Florida’s environmental challenges. (New York Times)
• A conservative group holds a Miami rally to support “market-based” climate change solutions that environmentalists say don’t go far enough toward making needed change. (Reuters)
• Kentucky’s attorney general files a brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to review a lower court ruling giving the EPA power to set emission standards in a way that could irreparably damage the coal industry. (Kentucky Today)

UTILITIES: Appalachian Power offers customers an all-renewable electricity plan, but critics charge the program blocks less-expensive third-party options and tightens its grip as one of Virginia’s two state-regulated monopolies. (Roanoke Times)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• A Florida car show showcases modern EVs alongside vintage electric cars from the late 1800s and early 1900s. (Ars Technica)
• A California electric vehicle startup announces plans to locate corporate offices in Texas. (Los Angeles Business Journal)
• A Virginia researcher studies ways to extract rare earth elements from incinerated municipal solid waste and a byproduct of aluminum mining operations. (news release)

SOLAR:
• Federal regulators decline to take action against Alabama for approving utility fees on home solar panels but express concern the fees may violate policies to encourage the development of small power production facilities and reduce demand for fossil fuels. (Associated Press)
• Duke Energy begins construction on a 22.6 MW solar plant in North Carolina. (Independent Tribune)

OIL & GAS: A 2018 Texas tank explosion demonstrates the danger of heated storage tanks containing asphalt or other heavy oils. (Inside Climate News)

COMMENTARY:
• West Virginia regulators will decide how much ratepayers should pay to keep coal-fired power alive — a “mighty important question” considering the state’s reliance on coal, writes an editorial board. (Huntington Herald-Dispatch)
• Electric choice would hurt Virginia’s monopoly utilities but give ratepayers more options to find lower rates or more renewables, writes a state lawmaker. (Roanoke Times)
• As Florida suffers intensive effects of climate change, its lawmakers are choosing to treat only the symptoms rather than the root cause of fossil fuels, writes a coastal organizer. (Pensacola News Journal)

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.