CORRECTION: The new director of West Virginia’s mine inspection office worked for a CEO who was found guilty of conspiring to violate safety standards at Upper Big Branch mine, but was never himself charged or convicted. An item in yesterday’s digest misstated his role.

CLIMATE: Hurricane season ends, but not before two late-season storms devastated the Southeast, with Fiona further destroying Puerto Rico’s power grid and Ian causing an estimated $67 billion in private market insured losses in Florida. (New York Times, news release)

TRANSITION: West Virginia lawmakers passed just one of more than 80 recommendations from a coal community transition committee: creating a commission to which the governor still hasn’t appointed any members. (Mountain State Spotlight)

UTILITIES: A federal judge hears arguments from three nonprofits who allege the Tennessee Valley Authority’s 20-year power supply agreements violate federal laws. (Commercial Appeal)

SOLAR:
• Solar advocates claim Alabama Power’s fees are diluting benefits for customers with rooftop systems and slowing the solar transition. (WABM)
• An energy company proposes building a 5 MW solar farm in western Virginia and selling power to Dominion Energy, but the project still needs approval from the county board. (Daily News-Record)

WIND: A conservative Texas think tank teams up with New England’s commercial fishing industry to file a lawsuit against a northeastern offshore wind project with the goal of pausing all ongoing offshore wind construction in the U.S. (Texas Standard, Heated)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Georgia lawmakers recommend requiring licensing electric vehicle charging stations and charging motorists by the kilowatt-hour instead of time spent charging, but fail to find consensus on how to ensure utilities building EV chargers don’t unfairly compete with convenience stores. (Capitol Beat News Service)
• Neighbors of EV maker Rivian’s planned Georgia factory complain that runoff and sedimentation is seeping from the construction site into neighboring creeks. (WXIA)
• Virginia now counts 26 electric buses among its fleet, and is working on solutions to recharge them throughout the day. (Virginia Mercury)

POLITICS:
• The runoff election for a regulatory seat in Louisiana attracts more than $1 million in spending from a political action committee against the incumbent. (Advocate)
• Congress passes legislation to avert a rail strike that could disproportionately affect coal-producing states, including six in the Appalachian region. (WOWK)
• Some of former President Donald Trump’s biggest energy donors are now lining up behind Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in a prospective 2024 presidential campaign, including a Dallas pipeline mogul and a Texas oil tycoon. (E&E News)

EMISSIONS: New data from the U.S. EPA shows many of the worst climate polluters in the country are based in the Southeast, including a coal-fired plant in Alabama, a gas compressor station in Mississippi, and landfills in North Carolina. (Inside Climate News)

RENEWABLES: Entergy Texas issues a request for proposals to generate 2,000 MW of new solar and wind power. (news release)

PIPELINES: National Park Service officials approve Dominion Energy’s proposal to place a natural gas pipeline beneath the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina. (Asheville Citizen Times)

MINING: An energy company searches for partners to help it extract lithium from 120,000 acres it’s leased in Arkansas. (Magnolia Reporter)

GRID: An electricity distribution infrastructure contractor agrees to pay $8.4 million to settle claims it improperly withheld pricing data during hurricane restoration in Puerto Rico. (Engineering News-Record)

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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.