EMISSIONS: A study finds recent pledges by electric utilities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions could cut power sector emissions by one third from 2018, with Duke Energy and Southern Company accounting for a third of those potential reductions. (Winston-Salem Journal)

ALSO: The Sierra Club takes issue with Southwestern Electric Power Co.’s plan to extend the life of an Arkansas coal plant to 2038 without providing an economic analysis of retiring it a decade sooner. (KUAR)

POLITICS: U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin announces he will not support Democrats’ Build Back Better spending plan, likely scuttling investments in climate change technologies and social programs. (WV Metro News, Politico, New York Times)

CLIMATE: A gas industry-written Florida law restricting cities’ ability to bar new natural gas infrastructure has already  weakened local plans to reduce emissions and shift to renewables. (Miami Herald)

WIND: North Carolina coastal communities fret about their views and tourism economies as plans for an offshore wind facility move forward. (Wilmington Star-News)

OVERSIGHT: Louisiana energy regulators spat over a contract awarded to a commissioner’s longtime friend involving a study of electric vehicle charging stations. (The Advocate)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Georgia looks to build off Rivian and SK Innovation’s planned electric vehicle and battery factories to gain a foothold in the rapidly growing industry. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
• Three energy and climate groups will hold a virtual town hall this week on Virginia’s transportation electrification and the state’s passage of vehicle emission standards this year. (Augusta Free Press)

SOLAR: A Virginia county moves to expand its zoning ordinance to provide more local control over solar facilities. (Roanoke Times)

ENERGY EFFICIENCY: New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, lose ground in an annual list of energy-efficient cities, largely because they have low grades in shifting to electric vehicles and getting people out of cars to walk and bike instead. (NOLA.com)

UTILITIES:
• Duke Energy asks Florida regulators to approve its collection of $314 million over two years from ratepayers due to higher-than-expected natural gas costs. (News Service of Florida)
• Black Hills Energy Corp. asks Arkansas regulators to raise residential natural gas rates by 10%. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

OIL & GAS: A West Virginia natural gas and oil trade association formed by the merger of two groups has picked up more than two dozen new members over the last year. (State Journal)

COMMENTARY:
• As Texas regulators move quickly to overhaul the state’s energy market to prevent future blackouts, ratepayers should pay attention and demand transparency lest they get another system that puts corporations above the public interest, writes a columnist. (Houston Chronicle)
• A Virginia board’s decision to award water-crossing permits to the Mountain Valley Pipeline removes one of its final regulatory obstacles, but its opponents have long proven adept at delaying the over-budget project, writes an editorial board. (Roanoke Times)
• Sen. Joe Manchin’s decision to vote against his party’s spending plan reflects West Virginia politics driven largely by partisan tribalism, cultural issues and an attachment to the vanishing coal industry, writes a columnist. (Washington Post)

Questions or comments about this article? Contact us at editor@energynews.us.

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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.