COAL: The fate of two West Virginia coal-fired power plants is in question after Virginia regulators approve a rate increase for Appalachian Power but reject a request to recover costs for wastewater upgrades that would keep the plants open until 2040. (West Virginia Public Broadcasting, Roanoke Times)

NUCLEAR: A Texas company pursues a federal permit to store spent nuclear fuel even as state lawmakers try to ban nuclear waste from entering the state. (Texas Tribune)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Louisiana awards grants to 26 government agencies, universities and utilities to build 82 electric vehicle charging stations using money from the Volkswagen settlement. (Associated Press)

Residents of a small majority-minority Virginia county celebrate the cancellation of one natural gas-fired plant but prepare to fight a second, larger plant that’s still in the works. (Chesapeake Bay Journal)
• A natural gas exploration and production company’s acquisition of a Texas power plant may mark the beginning of a trend as upstream companies seek stability. (Natural Gas Intelligence, subscription)
• Chevron and Hess announce they will require offshore oil workers in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment. (Maritime Executive)

SOLAR: Arkansas falls into the bottom half of states for solar usage, but expects more growth after lawmakers passed a 2019 law to remove a ban on solar leasing and power purchase arrangements. (Fort Smith Times Record)

CRYPTOCURRENCY: A bitcoin mining operation generates noise complaints from its Tennessee neighbors and regret from a county commissioner who voted for rezoning he says he mistakenly thought was for a solar farm and data center. (Johnson City Press)

WIND: A federal trial begins in Arkansas for two men charged with defrauding six investors in a proposed wind-farm project. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

CLIMATE: Climate change played a role in Tennessee flash flooding that killed at least 21 people by supercharging an extreme rainfall event that’s likely to become even more common. (CNN)

UTILITIES: Power rates in two Tennessee communities will fall slightly due to a decrease in the Tennessee Valley Authority’s fuel cost. (Daily Post Athenian)

• The Tennessee Valley Authority should shift from a preference for natural gas and carbon capture toward renewables and storage to alleviate climate change and environmental injustice, writes a Tennessee member of the Sierra Club. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)
• Congress must support a push by Savannah, Georgia, toward clean energy with funding for electric transit and other infrastructure to address the climate crisis, writes a city alderperson. (Savannah Morning News)
• A poll reveals West Virginians even in coal-producing counties understand and support the clean energy transition, even while state leaders have dragged their feet, writes a newspaper editor. (Beckley Register-Herald)

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.