UTILITIES: Memphis Light, Gas & Water wrestles with the fallout of a major power outage, questions over whether to exit the Tennessee Valley Authority, and the revelation that all of its board members’ terms have long expired, most years ago. (Institute for Public Service Reporting at the University of Memphis) 

ALSO: An energy company in Kentucky begins constructing a new headquarters, a transmission and energy control center, and potentially two gas-fired power plants. (Messenger-Inquirer)

TRANSITION: A committee of West Virginia lawmakers tasked with touring the state to develop solutions for transitioning coal communities identified dozens of legislative proposals but filed just four bills, most which require funding that’s not yet available. (Mountain State Spotlight)

SOLAR:
• Appalachian Power seeks bids to build up to 150 MW of solar capacity in West Virginia, preferably with battery storage. (Bluefield Daily Telegraph)
• Polling shows large majorities of Floridians oppose a utility-backed measure to lower rates paid to customers with rooftop solar panels, though results vary by party affiliation and whether the word “incentive” is used. (Florida Politics)

OIL & GAS:
• A journalist explains how growing European demand is affecting development of liquid natural gas infrastructure in Texas, including transparency in emissions. (Texas Standard)
Low crude oil inventories at an Oklahoma delivery point that’s one of the world’s biggest oil storage hubs signal high energy prices will likely linger into the summer. (Bloomberg)

CLIMATE: A federal report projects that climate change could result in the sea level along Louisiana’s coast rising up to 2 feet by 2050, and potentially over 4 feet by 2100. (NOLA.com)

GRID: Kentucky lawmakers consider legislation meant to boost grid resilience, but critics say it could result in higher utility bills and give a lifeline to fossil fuel power plants. (WKYU)

OVERSIGHT:
• Virginia lawmakers advance different proposals to change how citizen water and air boards are appointed and remove their permitting power. (VPM)
• A reconstituted and potentially powerful West Virginia energy board will begin meeting next week to promote fossil fuel development after a decade of dormancy. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:  Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson calls for the state to move quickly to use federal funding to build electric vehicle chargers to compete with neighboring Oklahoma. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

POLITICS: Virginia’s Republican House of Delegates passes bills to delay or repeal three major state decarbonization laws, but the rollbacks seem unlikely to pass a state Senate still controlled by Democrats. (Virginia Mercury)

COMMENTARY:
• Memphis leaders must be more transparent as the city’s municipal utility navigates major issues, says a political analyst. (WATN)
• An explosion at a Louisiana chemical plant last month serves as a warning against building eight new liquefied natural gas export terminals in a region prone to natural disasters and industrial accidents, writes a retired lieutenant general who oversaw Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. (The Advocate)
• Florida should facilitate competition among utilities and private companies to ensure the best use of federal funding to build electric vehicle chargers, writes a Republican state lawmaker. (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.