OIL & GAS: A new analysis finds the oil industry’s use of water has soared to record levels to support giant, increasingly complex “monster fracks” spreading across Texas. (New York Times)


  • Texas’ grid operator predicts a solar eclipse in mid-October could affect the state’s solar farms enough to disrupt the power grid. (Houston Chronicle)
  • A report finds utility-scale solar’s rapid Texas expansion provided more than 10% of peak demand for the state power grid when temperatures and demand soared over the summer. (Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis)
  • Proposed NextEra solar farms in Louisiana attract overwhelming opposition from residents and community in one parish but a generally mild response in another. (Plaquemine Post South)
  • A 187 MW solar farm under construction in Texas will power a manufacturing plant that’s a joint venture between ExxonMobil and a Saudi Arabian corporation. (Corpus Christi Caller Times)


ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A Tennessee municipal utility becomes the first public utility in the nation to use a new technology to analyze data from 250,000 electricity meters as it develops a plan for building out electric vehicle chargers. (Knoxville News Sentinel)

BIOGAS: Local Arkansas officials discuss a $3.9 million incentive package that helped attract a gas-to-fuel plant announced last week. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)


SUSTAINABILITY: Charlotte, North Carolina, is recognized as a model for sustainable cities because of its circular economy plan to use maintenance, recycling, reuse, repurposing and composting to keep products and materials in use as long as possible. (Newsweek)

HYDROGEN: Texas Tech collaborates with a Florida company to research a new way of producing hydrogen from natural gas reservoirs while sequestering carbon. (news release)

POLITICS: During a campaign speech in South Carolina, former President Donald Trump makes evidence-free assertions that “windmills” are “driving the whales, I think, a little batty.” (HuffPost)


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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.