ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Virginia becomes the first state in the South — and the 15th overall — to adopt California’s clean car standards, which one advocate calls “the single biggest step Virginia has taken to cut carbon emissions.” (Energy News Network)

• Dozens of Oklahoma farmers and landowners spar with Cheniere Energy Inc. over its construction of the 200-mile Midship pipeline. (E&E News, subscription)
• The five energy companies behind Mountain Valley Pipeline’s Southgate extension file more than 35 lawsuits against more than 100 North Carolinians to condemn land for a project that faces regulatory obstacles and may never be built. (The Times News, subscription)

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• Texas power company Griddy, which saw its access to the state’s electric grid cut off after missing payments due to last month’s storm and outages, files for bankruptcy. (Reuters)
• The Texas state Senate approves a bill that would direct the state’s grid manager to correct billions of dollars in erroneous electric charges that occurred during last month’s outages. (Baytown Sun)

• West Virginia water utilities and environmental and health regulators warn against a measure that would loosen regulations on some oil and gas tanks near drinking water intakes. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• Louisiana customers stuck with soaring bills have struggled to navigate the lack of transparency around large bureaucracies like Entergy, even before last month’s outages and related energy crisis. (NOLA.com)

• Kentucky lawmakers approve a state budget that includes anticipation of federal stimulus funding, as well as the return of coal severance money back to coal-producing counties at record percentages. (WTVQ)
• Oklahoma’s fossil fuel industry has reduced its carbon emissions over the last decade largely because of federal regulations and the long-term phase-out of coal generation in favor of wind energy and natural gas, according to federal data. (Frontier)

• Virginia installed 1.4 GW of solar generation in 2020, ranking fourth in the country after California, Texas and Florida, according to a new analysis. (Virginia Mercury)
• Arkansas regulators approve a proposed 4.8 MW solar plant. (Arkansas Business)
• Duke Energy announces two Florida solar plants of just under 75 MW each. (news release)

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EFFICIENCY: A South Carolina city strikes a deal with Dominion Energy to replace its streetlights with LED bulbs. (North Augusta Star)

COMMENTARY: A North Carolina environmental advocate sets the record straight on wind energy’s role in last month’s Texas energy crisis, and says  North Carolina should not shy away from investing in the renewable power source. (Coastal Review Online)

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.