SOLAR: Advocates push Virginia lawmakers to expand access to solar-subscription programs that let residents buy into shared solar projects, following the lead of a Dominion Energy program piloted last year. (Energy News Network)

ALSO:
• A Colorado company signs an agreement with a coal company to explore using land in a southern West Virginia county for a solar farm. (Beckley Register-Herald)
• West Virginia regulators approve a 20 MW solar facility. (Associated Press)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Georgia officials and electric truck and SUV maker Rivian discuss opening a vehicle manufacturing and battery plant east of Atlanta. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
• Electric vehicle company Canoo accelerates its timeline to make pod-shaped vans it calls “lifestyle vehicles” at an Oklahoma factory, and also plans to expand to Arkansas and other states. (Reuters)

COAL:
• A judge extends a temporary restraining order preventing striking Alabama coal miners from picketing as the union files plans to resume. (AL.com)
• Federal prosecutors conclude their case against four Kentucky coal executives after a company safety director testified about how he tried to cheat mine safety rules. (Associated Press)

OVERSIGHT: New reports allege Texas regulators’ close ties to and investments in the oil, natural gas, coal and uranium companies they oversee create unaddressed conflicts of interest. (Texas Public Radio)

PIPELINES:
• A Virginia official recommends a state regulatory board oversee a planned 83-mile pipeline to a yet-to-be-built natural gas power plant despite its developer’s opposition. (Virginia Mercury, Richmond Times-Dispatch)
• A 135-mile pipeline begins operation to link gas drillers in the Permian Basin to processors and other pipelines in west Texas and New Mexico. (S&P Global)

GRID: San Antonio’s municipal utility has completed about a third of weatherization recommendations made by an oversight committee after last year’s winter storm knocked out power. (San Antonio Report)

STORAGE: A Korean company considers building a 380 MW energy storage facility in Texas. (Korea Herald)

OIL & GAS:
• Oil production in the Permian Basin appears likely to set a new record in December with a turnaround from pandemic lows that has not been replicated in the country’s other oil regions. (Reuters)
• ExxonMobil launches the sale of oil and gas holdings that include 2,700 wells in North Texas’ Barnett Shale field, with the goal of raising $15 billion. (Reuters)

EFFICIENCY: The Oklahoma Home Builders Association rejects proposals to boost the importance of energy conservation and savings in state code because the provisions would cost home builders and buyers more money. (The Oklahoman)

CRYPTOCURRENCY: An eastern Tennessee county takes legal action against an electric utility after it rezoned land for a “data center” that turned out to be a bitcoin mining operation that has generated noise complaints from neighbors. (Johnson City Press)

COMMENTARY:
• The Biden administration’s resumption of lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico shows the energy transition will still include oil and gas production and petrochemical manufacturing for the foreseeable future, writes an editorial board. (The Advocate)
• Clean energy advocates face challenges under Virginia’s incoming state government that include ambiguity as to where the governor-elect stands on climate and Republican legislators who are outright hostile to an energy transition, writes an energy columnist. (Virginia Mercury)

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.