GRID: Texas’ grid manager predicts the state will exceed the previous record for electricity-demand three times in coming days as a major heat wave brings triple-digit temperatures. (Houston Chronicle)

• North Carolina lawmakers approve a bill to dramatically increase penalties for damaging energy facilities, transmission lines or equipment after gunfire on two electric substations resulted in outages last winter. (Winston-Salem Journal)
• Entergy pursues federal funding to offset the cost of power grid upgrades in Louisiana. (Greater Baton Rouge Business Report)

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• A West Virginia board establishes new requirements utilities must satisfy before they can close coal, natural gas, and oil-fired power plants. (Parkersburg News and Sentinel)
• North Carolina lawmakers advance a bill to rework state environmental regulations, with some changes in the complicated legislation apparently conflicting with federal law. (NC Newsline)

SOLAR: A judge dismisses a lawsuit to block construction of an 800 MW solar farm in Virginia, then goes on to block a lawyer from filing any more suits without having them reviewed for legal sufficiency. (Mecklenburg Sun)

• Dominion Energy revives plans to build a natural gas peaker plant with four generators totaling 1,000 MW next to a Virginia plant where it recently closed two coal-fired units. (Virginia Mercury, Richmond Times-Dispatch)
• A gas developer announces partnerships to develop a liquified natural gas plant in Texas, set to be confirmed by the end of the month. (Reuters)
• Oklahoma residents discover a small oil spill when a neighbor’s dogs come home “covered in oil.” (KFOR)

• West Virginia regulators award what’s thought to be the final state permit needed to resume construction on the Mountain Valley Pipeline. (WV News)
• Environmental activists meet with federal officials about using funding to clean up legacy pipeline pollution and help a Texas port city transition to clean energy. (Beaumont Enterprise)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: State lawmakers wrestle with whether utilities or private businesses should build electric vehicle chargers, as Oklahoma, Georgia and Texas restrict utilities from using ratepayer funds to fund charger construction, while Florida Power & Light builds hundreds of chargers over critics’ objections. (States Newsroom)

COAL: A state study finds Kentucky still used coal for 69% of its electricity in 2020, even as many other states have shifted to other forms of energy. (Kentucky Lantern)

STORAGE: An energy company announces it will deploy a 15 MW iron-air battery in Georgia backed by Georgia Power. (CleanTechnica)

EFFICIENCY: A Virginia county signs onto a statewide program to help commercial properties finance energy efficiency improvements after its own, localized version of the program fails to attract any interest. (Reston Now)

• The U.S. EPA updates rules about chemicals used to break up offshore oil slicks after BP’s 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion prompts a Louisiana fisher to join a suit forcing the agency to re-assess its regulations. (Guardian)
• Crews remove more than 5,000 tons of toxic coal tar leaked into a South Carolina river by a now-shuttered manufactured gas plant that turned coal into gas. (The State)

• Texas lawmakers mostly failed attempts to restrict clean energy projects demonstrate just how much market forces have aligned behind renewables over fossil fuels, writes a columnist. (New York Times)
• The Mountain Valley Pipeline’s inclusion in the federal debt deal is “government at its worst” because it overruled a regulatory and judicial system that was working as intended, writes an editorial board. (Virginian-Pilot)

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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.