ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Virginia advocates look to grants, private-public partnerships and federal funding to pay for electric school buses after state lawmakers mandated a diesel phase-out but failed to provide funding behind it. (Energy News Network)

ALSO: The Tennessee Valley Authority partners with Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee System in an initiative to grow tech companies, even as electric vehicle makers and battery companies fuel economic growth in the region. (Knoxville News Sentinel, WBIR)

COAL:
• Appalachian coal counties see local tax revenues squeezed by the industry’s decline, but after years of failed promises, advocates remain wary that proposed federal funding will be spent effectively. (Southerly)
Advocates of keeping a West Virginia coal plant open as long as possible pack into a state regulatory hearing after American Electric Power subsidiaries say they might close it 12 years ahead of schedule. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• Coal companies find alternative paths to financing, including tax-exempt bonds in West Virginia, as viability and environmental concerns restrict their access to traditional capital. (S&P Global)
• A worker is killed in an underground West Virginia coal mine. (Huntington Herald-Dispatch)

GRID:
• Texas lawmakers responded to February’s power outages with new laws to require winterization and create statewide alerts, but did not provide direct relief for Texans who suffered death and property loss and who will shoulder the cost of grid upgrades. (Texas Tribune)
• As Florida prepares for hurricane season, experts say the state is less at risk of a massive power outage because its power providers are linked to the regional electricity grid and have increasingly moved lines underground. (WESH)

OIL & GAS:
• The oil and gas industry’s top trade group opposed federal cybersecurity regulations for years before a ransomware attack shut down the Colonial Pipeline. (Truthout)
• Kinder Morgan acknowledges it used $1 billion in profits from the Southeast’s winter storm to buy a gas company with 185 miles of pipelines and four storage facilities. (S&P Global)

UTILITIES: South Carolina lawmakers abandon their push to sell state-owned utility Santee Cooper in favor of legislative reform. (E&E News, subscription)

SOLAR:
• A northern Florida town whose residents are descendants of slaves and some of the nation’s earliest Black landowners pushes back against a proposed 50 MW solar and 12 MW battery storage project. (E&E News, subscription)
• A Florida city council votes to reduce the amount its municipal utility reimburses rooftop solar customers for excess power. (WJCT)

WIND: A renewables company reduces the size of a proposed wind farm in western Virginia due to changing technology and market demand. (Roanoke Times)

STORAGE: A Virginia planning commission will hold a public hearing on a proposed energy storage facility near solar farms and a Dominion Energy substation. (Southside Sentinel)

POLITICS:
• North Carolina’s Republican-majority state Senate rejects the Democratic governor’s appointment to head the state energy agency after questioning her knowledge of natural gas. (WRAL)
• As Virginia’s Democratic primary looms, a lieutenant governor candidate who promised not to take Dominion Energy money accepts $100,000 from the utility’s political wing. (Virginia Mercury)
• The exponential growth of Texas’ biggest corporate tax break, which gives manufacturing and energy companies deep discounts on school property taxes, attracted state lawmakers’ attention and ultimately contributed to its demise. (Houston Chronicle)

COMMENTARY:
• The future of energy development can be glimpsed in west Texas, where oil and gas, wind and solar expansions test the balance of land needs, community values and potential rural/urban conflict, write two scientists. (Houston Chronicle)
• Appalachian Power should close its coal plants instead of requesting rate increases to pay for improvements, writes a member of a southwestern Virginia conservation group. (Roanoke Times)
• Solar power will represent the majority of new renewable development in Virginia as the state tries to meet sweeping clean-energy goals the legislature passed last year, writes the head of a solar group. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

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.