SOLAR: Tampa Electric doubles its target for solar power, beginning construction of four new projects totaling 225 MW and announcing plans to retire a coal plant two decades ahead of schedule. (Florida Politics)

ALSO:
• A North Carolina solar developer re-applies to build a 149 MW facility in Virginia, less than two months after it withdrew its proposal in the face of public opposition. (Culpeper Star-Exponent)
• Duke Energy and Ameresco collaborate to build a floating photovoltaic solar microgrid at North Carolina’s Fort Bragg military base. (Microgrid Knowledge)

***SPONSORED LINK: North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association is offering a virtual clean energy continuing legal education (CLE) course on Feb. 2, with a specific focus on the Southeast region. Register today! ***

POLITICS:
• Two coal-country Republicans from central Appalachia secure prominent spots on congressional subcommittees with environmental and investigative power. (E&E News, subscription)
• Florida environmental groups cheer President Biden’s early executive orders, which they say are necessary to combat climate change that’s already occurring and which disproportionately affects minority communities. (WLTV)

COAL:
• West Virginia’s coal lobby braces for a “pretty tough time” under the Biden administration. (WV Metro News)
• After West Virginia makes changes to how it funds reclamation of former coal mines, environmental groups drop a lawsuit but remain concerned about the potential for coal bankruptcies to overwhelm states’ ability to pay for cleanup. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• A safety inspector at a now-bankrupt Kentucky coal mine becomes the third person, of nine that have been charged, to plead guilty to rigging dust-monitoring equipment to skirt safety rules. (Associated Press)

OIL & GAS: President Biden’s cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline probably will benefit west Texas oil drillers but negatively affect regional refineries by reducing supply, says a state economics professor. (KLBK)

WIND: A north Texas group advocates against wind power as a potential threat to the endangered whooping crane, and succeeds in pushing one developer to cancel its plans. (KFDX)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A German company expands its carbon composite manufacturing in Arkansas to include components for electric vehicles. (Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

COMMENTARY:
• San Antonio’s city-owned electric utility should close a coal-fired plant even though it was built relatively recently, in part because it imports most of its fuel from other states, writes the leader of a conservative group that advocates for energy innovation. (San Antonio Express-News)
• Despite his campaign promises to save coal, Donald Trump leaves office with the industry in collapse, writes a columnist. (Northwest Florida Daily News)
• A Texas newspaper editorial board welcomes federal funding for a ship channel, both for its short-term benefit for the oil and petrochemical industries and for longer-term cargo trade as those industries fade. (Beaumont Enterprise)

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.