Correction: A Louisiana federal judge on Friday blocked a Biden executive order restoring the social cost of carbon. An item in Monday’s newsletter mischaracterized the judge’s decision.

 

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Tennessee gears up in preparation for 3,000 construction workers to get to work building a Ford electric truck and battery megasite, with that number to increase to 8,000 by summer 2023. (Commercial Appeal)

ALSO:
• A Tennessee city east of Nashville sees a surge in interest by companies in the electric vehicle industry. (Nashville Business Journal, subscription)
• A North Carolina electric cooperative announces a fast charger at a gas station that will address an 80-mile gap of interstate with no chargers. (Mountaineer)
• A Mississippi city council will consider an agreement with the Tennessee Valley Authority to help fund an electric vehicle charging station. (Daily Mississippian)

PIPELINES: Developers “press pause” on the planned Chickahominy Pipeline in Virginia after regional electric grid manager PJM says a related 1,600 MW natural gas plant failed to meet development deadlines and will be removed from its planning queue. (Virginia Mercury)

GRID:
• A judge asks attorneys to choose five “test cases” to advance among the 174 wrongful-death, personal injury and property damage lawsuits filed in the wake of Texas’ 2021 winter storm and power outages. (Houston Chronicle)
• Efforts to reform the Texas grid after last year’s winter storm have focused on reliability instead of cutting carbon emissions to stem climate change. (Texas Tribune, KSAT)

COAL: A coal-fired plant in Piedmont North Carolina is expected to be one of Duke Energy’s final two holdouts in its shift from emission-heavy coal-fired power production. (Winston-Salem Journal)

SOLAR:
• Florida solar installers and renewable energy advocates fight utility-backed legislation to change net-metering rules to lower rates for buying solar energy from rooftop users. (The Gabber)
• West Virginia lawmakers advance a bill to loosen zoning rules for non-utility electric generators, potentially opening the door for a contested 93 MW solar farm. (Charleston Gazette-Mail) 

UTILITIES: The Tennessee Valley Authority raises questions about whether it can legally offer power to marijuana growers, while affirming it will continue to provide electricity to local power companies in Mississippi, which will legalize medical marijuana in June. (Chattanooga Times Free Press, High Times)

EMISSIONS: Duke Energy announces that its 2050 net-zero carbon goal will encompass upstream carbon emissions from energy it purchases, as well as downstream emissions from customers. (Utility Dive)

OIL & GAS: West Virginia lawmakers amend a bill that would ease regulations on oil and gas storage tanks to include tanks near public water intakes. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

NUCLEAR: An Oklahoma lawmaker presses for a nuclear power feasibility study, 40 years after the last attempt to build a nuclear power plant in the state failed. (Journal Record)

POLITICS:
• Republican congressional candidates take aim at Georgia’s planned $5 billion Rivian electric vehicle factory as a “disastrous” deal for state taxpayers. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Climate change, support for the oil and gas industry, and a newspaper endorsement factor into an increasingly heated GOP primary for a Texas congressional seat. (E&E News, subscription; Texan)

INNOVATION:
• A University of Tennessee innovation center recruits startups for an energy-focused business accelerator. (Knoxville News Sentinel)
• The director of a sustainable energy center at University of Louisiana at Lafayette discusses its new solar lab now under construction. (The Advocate)

COMMENTARY: Florida legislation to dramatically lower the market rate utilities pay rooftop solar customers for excess power will harm consumers, the economy and the environment, write two clean energy activists. (Tampa Bay Times)

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.