TEXAS: The Texas Senate passes a bill to cut disputed electricity and service fees by more than $5 billion after last month’s storm and energy crisis pushed up costs nearly 10 times to about $47 billion. (Reuters)

ALSO:
• The Texas attorney general says the state utilities board may cut billions more from storm-inflated electric bills, contradicting a former regulator who had pledged to protect utilities’ unexpected profits. (Reuters, Texas Monthly)
• A judge’s approval of a bankruptcy filing by a Texas energy company that sold retail electricity at wholesale rates could let customers off the hook for the exorbitant prices during last month’s storm. (The Eagle)
• Texas regulators appoint a pair of regulatory and industry experts to reform the state’s grid manager after last month’s energy failures. (Austin Business Journal)
• A township split between Texas’ independent energy grid and a connected, multi-state grid demonstrates the challenges of deregulation. (Community Impact Newspaper)

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OVERSIGHT:
• Congressional Republicans complain that hearings on Texas’ recent blackouts don’t highlight problems in California and other “blue” states. (E&E News, subscription)
• Florida’s chief science and chief resilience officers have both resigned for other jobs within two years of the positions being created. (WMFE)
• Virginia considers how to spend the $43 million in carbon market revenues it received from the first year of its participation in the 11-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. (Virginia Mercury)

CLIMATE:
• Texas grapples with the policy implications of a sharply growing number of residents who believe in human-driven climate change and its implications for the energy and beef sectors, while a national environmental group starts a state chapter to mobilize some of those voters to action. (Texas Monthly, HuffPost)
• Florida lawmakers introduce bills to create and regulate regulator inventories of greenhouse gas emissions. (WLRN)

UTILITIES: New Orleans’ mayor says the city is reserving $20 million for a new Entergy substation and a utilities director says more money is set aside for additional power plant and grid upgrades. (WDSU)

HYDROGEN: The U.S. Department of Energy funds research projects in Alabama and Kentucky that aim to produce hydrogen from a blend of biomass, plastic, and coal feed stocks instead of natural gas. (Power Engineering International)

PIPELINES:
• Officials investigate reports of defective coating on a pipeline that runs to an Ohio River Valley cracker plant, including through West Virginia. (Observer-Reporter)
• The Memphis city council unanimously passes a resolution opposing the Byhalia Connection pipeline, which is planned to run through largely Black neighborhoods already disproportionately impacted by industrial development. (news release)

SOLAR: A Virginia county considers taxing solar farms after Mountain Valley Pipeline delays left it short of its expected revenue. (Chatham Star-Tribune)

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OIL & GAS:  West Virginia lawmakers pass a bill to establish a $2,500 fee to modify well-work permits with the goal of erasing a budget shortfall currently facing regulators in the state’s Office of Oil and Gas. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

COMMENTARY: West Virginia’s consideration of modern energy policy has long been hampered by nostalgia for days when the coal industry was a dynamic, dominant employer, writes an opinion editor. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

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.