TEXAS OUTAGES: Failures among natural gas, coal and nuclear power producers are responsible for nearly twice as many outages in Texas as wind and solar, but that’s not stopped conservative commentators from blaming the blackouts on renewables. (Associated Press, Texas Tribune, PolitiFact)

• Millions of people still are without power and at least 20 dead, with the largest outages in Texas and Appalachia. (Associated Press)
• Texas energy experts, local leaders and residents blame energy and state officials for failing to adequately warn people in advance of a winter storm that’s caused outages for millions. (Texas Tribune)
• The mayor of a Texas city resigns after harshly telling residents seeking assistance during the power outage that “no one owes you or your family anything.” (Washington Post)

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POLITICS: Stress on the electric grid and accompanying blackouts across the South could give President Joe Biden’s plans to make a “historic investment” in the electric grid more juice as the administration prepares an infrastructure proposal. (Bloomberg, Politico)

• The widespread failure of the Texas power grid fuels anger across a state that’s long prided itself on energy independence and a standalone energy grid. (Associated Press, Reuters)
• The governor of Texas calls for an emergency investigation and reform of the group that manages the state power grid. (WFDD)
• Residents of Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma also face power outages due to the spike in demand from low temperatures, winter storms and ongoing problems in Texas. (KUAR, WBRZ, KOCO)
• Electricity prices surged above $10,000 per megawatt hour in Texas as demand far outstrips supply. (Reuters)

Disruption of production in Texas and cold temperatures across the U.S. send oil prices up. (Reuters)
• The Permian Basin’s second-largest oil producer warns customers it will curtail deliveries due to extreme weather. (Bloomberg)
• Oklahoma regulators remove a cap on natural gas production for state wells for the first time since 1999 due to fuel shortages across the country. (The Oklahoman)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A bill to expand school bus electrification hits the skids amid bicameral tension in the Virginia legislature. (Virginia Mercury)

RENEWABLES: Appalachian Power seeks bids from wind and solar developers as it tries to increase its renewable energy portfolio to meet guidelines set by Virginia law. (Roanoke Times)

• As Texas grapples with rolling blackouts and resulting recriminations, the state should look to state leaders who failed to learn the clear lessons of another winter storm a decade ago, write a columnist. (Texas Tribune)
• Energy investors should look past hot takes and instead draw lessons from the Texas power outages that include close looks at deregulation and resiliency within a particular region, writes an equity investor. (Forbes)
• Rolling blackouts across Texas and the U.S. should serve as a wake-up call that the national electric grid needs to be upgraded and hardened, writes a columnist. (Washington Post)

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.