PIPELINES: A pandemic-related drop in natural gas prices prompts a developer to withdraw plans for a 625-mile pipeline that would have spanned Texas into Louisiana. (Reuters)

ALSO:
• A federal appeals court says a federal agency’s approval for the Mountain Valley Pipeline to cross waterways was likely illegal, citing West Virginia regulators’ flip-flopping on their own state rules. (Huntington Herald-Dispatch)
• The Mountain Valley Pipeline’s fate remains in question as its cost escalates amid legal and regulatory delays. (WVTF)

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RENEWABLES: The director of a Southwest Virginia economic development group says he wants its new $1 million Renewable Energy Fund to attract businesses and train residents in a burgeoning field. (Energy News Network)

UTILITIES:
• SCANA and its successor Dominion Energy in South Carolina agree to pay a $25 million civil fine in a fraud case related to the defunct utility’s failed $9 billion nuclear plant expansion. (The State)
• The Florida Supreme Court declines to overturn a lower court ruling that the city of Ocala illegally collected more than $81 million in fire service fees through the city-owned electric utility. (Ocala StarBanner)
• South Carolina regulators schedule two public hearings in January on a proposed rate increase for Dominion Energy customers. (Post and Courier)

COAL: The former CEO of coal operator Blackjewel, under investigation for mismanagement, wants to convert its ongoing bankruptcy from a reorganization into a liquidation. (Bloomberg Law)

OIL & GAS: A new study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute finds that Texans who live near oil refineries have a significantly higher risk for getting cancer. (Houston Chronicle)

STORAGE: Advancement of battery storage technology will play a key role in helping Virginia achieve the clean energy goals set by state lawmakers earlier this year, experts say. (Virginia Mercury)

SOLAR:
• Three historic preservation groups release a report outlining best practices for developing solar energy while protecting Virginia’s historic landscapes. (Culpeper Star-Exponent)
• Ørsted announces a 430 MW solar project outside Houston. (Renewables Now)

CLIMATE: Louisiana’s governor names a state mechanical engineering professor with a record of advocating for solar and renewable energy to lead a new state climate panel. (KTBS) 

REGULATION:
• Virginia’s governor appoints a former state deputy commerce official to fill a spot on its utility commission after its chairman was appointed to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
• Louisiana’s low electricity rates emerge as an issue in an election Saturday for a spot on the state’s utility regulation commission. (New Orleans Advocate)

BIOFUELS: A federal court affirms a ruling that pork producer Smithfield Foods is liable for violating the property rights of its neighbors, even as it gears up for a massive biogas project with Dominion Energy. (Coastal Review Online)

COMMENTARY:
• South Carolina regulators rip the state-operated Santee Cooper utility for a lack of transparency. (FITSNews)
• As solar energy booms, developers need to better engage communities to address their concerns, write three members of the Sierra Club’s Florida chapter. (Gainesville Sun)

Mason Adams

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.