OVERSIGHT: Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin names former coal lobbyist and Trump administration U.S. EPA chief Andrew Wheeler as secretary of natural resources, prompting outrage from environmental groups. (Richmond Times-Dispatch, Associated Press)

• A drop in production by Texas’ natural gas industry during last weekend’s cold snap alarms energy experts and power executives who are concerned the state’s gas companies may not be ready for harsher winter weather. (Bloomberg, Texas Tribune)
• A Louisiana regulator calls for the state to review whether power companies are taking care of power poles when they’re damaged by hurricanes. (WAFB)
• Hundreds of thousands of central Virginians were still without power Wednesday evening after a snow storm blanketed the Southeast on Monday and knocked out power to more than 1 million electric customers. (WRIC, Utility Dive)

• Florida Power & Light launches a website attacking the Miami Herald and its Tallahassee bureau chief for what it claims is “biased reporting” on legislation the utility drafted to constrict the state’s growing rooftop solar industry. (Florida Politics)
• A West Virginia board approves reduced property values and tax rates for the state’s major utilities that reflect the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and fall short of what government officials had anticipated. (Parkersburg News and Sentinel)

• A Canadian solar company agrees to sell a 150MW solar farm under construction in southern Virginia to Appalachian Power. (Power Technology)
• A Florida company seeks a permit for a solar farm in Kentucky. (WDRB)
• Shell-backed solar company Silicon Ranch raises $775 million from investors as solar experiences a dramatic expansion across the U.S. (Reuters)
• A New Orleans company that markets solar installations for low-income families raises $100 million to expand. (NOLA.com)
Florida’s first solar community, consisting of nearly 20,000 homes and a population of roughly 50,000, continues to grow four years after it was established. (WTSP)

• West Virginia regulators approve a project to add 1,270 MW of natural gas capacity at a 700 MW coal-fired plant. (WV Metro News)
• A survivor of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster struggles more than a decade later to process the trauma and the oil industry’s subsequent response. (Guardian)
• The Tennessee Valley Authority completes a two-month outage, its longest ever, to perform upgrades, refurbishments and maintenance at an eastern Tennessee gas plant. (Rogersville Review)

CLIMATE: Two top Virginia officials recommend state lawmakers not prohibit new fossil fuel plants for now because the state can meet decarbonization goals without a moratorium. (Virginia Mercury)

STORAGE: A North Carolina electric cooperative plans to install battery energy storage technology at a substation to provide power during times of peak demand. (Richmond County Daily Journal)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A company that recycles lithium ion batteries announces it will build a facility in Georgia. (WGAU)

LABOR: U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders includes striking Alabama coal miners and West Virginia steel workers in a virtual town hall to spotlight labor actions around the country. (WIAT, WSAZ)

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.