ENERGY EFFICIENCY: Virginia’s decision to join an East Coast carbon cap-and-invest enterprise funds weatherization programs for low- and moderate-income families struggling to pay electric bills. (Energy News Network)

• After a close call with the now-canceled Byhalia Connection pipeline, environmental justice advocates urge Memphis-area governments to pass ordinances to distance pipelines from residential areas and to create a new permitting process for such projects. (MLK50)
• Environmentalists ask federal regulators to slow consideration of a pipeline expansion in Kentucky and Indiana that a power company would use to serve two natural gas turbines to replace a retiring coal plant. (Courier & Press)

POLITICS: Texas’ top power companies shower state lawmakers in campaign contributions, raising questions about whether the legislature let oil, gas and the broader energy industry off too easily after February’s winter storm. (Texas Tribune)

• A federal appeals court rules federal regulators need to further analyze how two proposed liquefied natural gas terminals in Texas will impact greenhouse gas emissions and low-income or minority communities. (Reuters, E&E News)
• Oklahoma oil and gas producer Chesapeake Energy has stumbled since emerging from bankruptcy in February — firing its longtime CEO, promising to double its size through acquisitions and generally creating uncertainty among investors. (Reuters)

• A coastal North Carolina county unanimously votes to oppose construction of any wind facilities within 24 nautical miles of its coast. (WHQR)
• A Danish company completes construction of a 367 MW wind farm in Texas. (Renewables Now)

• A North Carolina company plans to build a 26.8 MW solar farm in Virginia, just across from what is thought to be the oldest brick dwelling in North America. (Smithfield Times)
• A southern Virginia county board approves three solar projects after denying a permit for one last month. (Gazette-Virginian)

BIOFUELS: A renewable diesel refinery in Oklahoma pauses production plans due to escalating feedstock prices. (Reuters)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A company with plans to mine lithium for electric vehicle batteries in North Carolina expects to apply for a state mining permit in August and receive approval by 2022. (Reuters)

COAL ASH: Duke Energy plans to complete remediation for coal ash contamination at its Crystal River Energy Complex in Florida by the end of this year. (Citrus County Chronicle)

HYDROELECTRIC: A North Carolina county board unanimously votes to source its power from hydroelectric facilities in western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee beginning in January 2022 in an effort to attain 100% renewable energy. (Watauga Democrat)

• Eighteen Virginia lawmakers send a letter to state regulators asking them to analyze potential electric rates and refunds for Dominion Energy customers if state law didn’t bind them with provisions favorable to the utility’s bottom line. (Virginia Mercury)
• The Tennessee Valley Authority sees an increase in electricity sales related to pandemic recovery and may extend rate rebates. (Daily Journal, Chattanooga Times Free Press)

COMMENTARY: Complaints about how solar farms affect views on farms pale when measured against mega-wildfires, heat waves and other effects of climate change, writes a Virginia farmer. (Virginia Mercury)

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.