COAL ASH: Utilities in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina are moving hundreds of millions of tons of coal ash to lined landfills, creating a nationwide model for potentially safer storage while frustrating residents who want the ash gone altogether. (Energy News Network/Chicago Investigative Project) 

ENERGY EFFICIENCY:
• North Carolina’s most energy-burdened residents stand to benefit from $100 million in federal and state state funding for energy-saving home improvements. (Energy News Network)
• An Arkansas city council approves a contract for 84 energy efficiency projects at 47 city buildings. (Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

POLITICS: Black and Latino Texas residents surrounded by oil and gas infrastructure and Appalachians in the path of the Mountain Valley Pipeline say they feel like collateral damage in Democrats’ passage of landmark climate legislation. (Washington Post, Guardian)

CLIMATE:
• A Louisiana island’s population of mostly French-speaking American Indians and their descendants has fallen to just a dozen as rising seas have drastically reduced its area. (NOLA.com)
• A state climatologist warns Louisiana is “the most vulnerable state in the country” to climate change as it faces rising seas, more extreme hurricanes and other consequences. (NOLA.com)
• Kentucky lawmakers approve a nearly $213 million aid package for flood-ravaged parts of the state. (Associated Press)
• The effects of July’s flooding in Kentucky were exacerbated by climate change, an expert says. (Ohio Valley ReSource)
• Mississippi’s governor declares a state of emergency ahead of expected flooding today. (Guardian)

SOLAR:
• A Virginia planning commission holds off on considering a 100 MW solar farm even though local and state agencies have already signed off on it. (Culpeper Star-Exponent)
• Arkansas farmers increasingly install solar power systems to stabilize and lower their operating costs. (Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Virginia’s 2021 law linking its emission standards to California means California’s decision to ban the sale of new gas-powered cars by 2035 will carry over as well, officials say — although state Republicans want to reverse the law. (Virginia Mercury, Associated Press)
• Georgia’s economic chief says electric manufacturers and suppliers have invested $13 billion in the state since 2020. (Capitol Beat News Service)

UTILITIES:
• Data shows the Tennessee Valley Authority imported a competitor’s power over four days in June, which critics say undercuts the utility’s argument for its reliability as Memphis, Tennessee, considers finding another power provider. (Commercial Appeal)
• Tennessee Valley Authority officials say the temporary shutdown of a nuclear plant is a small factor in bill increases compared to the rising cost of natural gas and high summer temperatures. (Cullman Times)

COAL:
• West Virginia’s insistent reliance on coal is now causing its utility rates to rise more sharply than in other states. (Wall Street Journal, subscription)
Virginia members of the coal miners union meet with U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine to celebrate newly passed black lung benefits and complain about their Republican Congress member’s inaction. (Bristol Herald-Courier)

OIL & GAS: Texas will use $25 million in federal infrastructure money to plug 800 of its approximately 7,400 documented abandoned oil and gas wells. (Texas Tribune)

COMMENTARY: The destruction left in Louisiana by recent hurricanes were wake-up calls that the state needs to upgrade its infrastructure, writes U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy. (The Advocate)

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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.