Southeast Energy News is one of five regional services published by the Energy News Network. Today’s edition was compiled by Mason Adams.

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ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Cadillac begins production of a new luxury ​​electric vehicle at its recently renovated Tennessee auto plant, a milestone in the company’s transition to a fully-electric lineup. (Tennessean)

ALSO:
Volkswagen intends to add a third shift at its Tennessee plant by year’s end, driving speculation it could involve construction of the company’s new electric microbus. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)
Florida college students draw inspiration from the movie “Black Panther” to design a power suit that can be used with electric vehicles. (WRBW)
• Entergy Arkansas offers cash rebates to customers who purchase electric vehicles technology, including EV chargers and golf carts. (Talk Business & Politics)

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TRANSITION:
A development company plans to install a pumped hydropower storage project on Kentucky land that’s still being mined for coal. (Lexington Herald-Leader)
The buyer of a former coal-fired power plant in Texas prepares to redevelop the site after it was imploded last year. (The Eagle)
Dominion Energy monitors for potential structural instability at a Virginia dam near a decommissioned power plant where it is still removing coal ash. (Daily Progress)
New research from Rice University suggests that just a fraction of the wind and solar projects already proposed in Texas could more than make up for the state’s remaining coal-fired power plants. (news release)

SOLAR:
Dominion Energy partners with an airport authority to turn 835 acres at Washington Dulles International Airport into a solar farm. (Sun Gazette)
The University of Arkansas enters an agreement to source power from a solar energy company. (KFSM)

OIL & GAS:
• Louisiana’s oil industry struggles to rehire workers and get rigs back online as oil prices jump amid a growing global ban on Russian energy. (Fox Business)
• European energy demand amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine drives a revival in Gulf Coast’s liquified natural gas industry after it sagged during the pandemic. (Agence France-Presse)

UTILITIES:
• San Antonio’s municipal utility lobbies for federal protection against skyrocketing fuel rates during extreme weather as it pursues legal action challenging hundreds of millions of dollars in natural gas charges from last year’s winter storm. (San Antonio Express-News)
• The Midcontinent Independent System Operator courts officials in Memphis, Tennessee, to make the case that it’s a better power provider than the Tennessee Valley Authority. (Commercial Appeal)
• Oklahoma lawmakers consider legislation to require utilities to submit annual emergency and maintenance plans in an effort to avoid skyrocketing prices during extreme weather events. (KFOR)
• Dominion Energy asks South Carolina regulators for a rate increase to cover the cost of coal and natural gas. (WLTX)

PIPELINES: A Tennessee bill to restrict local government’s ability to block fossil fuel instructure generates backlash from lawmakers, local officials and environmentalists — especially around Memphis, which spent more than a year trying to block the now-defunct Byhalia Connection Pipeline. (Tennessee Lookout)

COAL: A West Virginia company receives $3 million in funding to use coal to develop building materials. (Bluefield Daily Telegraph)

POLITICS: Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke denies allegations he defamed billionaire oil executive Kelcy Warren but says he welcomes the trial as an opportunity to discuss the state’s response to last year’s winter storm. (Dallas Morning News)

CRYPTOCURRENCY: Bitcoin mining companies increasingly lean into renewables in an attempt to rebrand the industry and challenge the prevailing view that its power-guzzling computers are harmful to the climate. (New York Times)

TRANSPORTATION:
• Florida sees the average price of gas drop by double digits amid fluctuation by domestic and international oil markets. (Tallahassee Democrat)
• Experts are skeptical that a West Virginia gas tax holiday would do much to shift behavior by motorists who otherwise might cross state lines to take advantage of prices in neighboring states. (West Virginia Public Broadcasting)

COMMENTARY: A lawyer for a Southern clean energy group calls for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to boost the state’s rooftop solar industry by vetoing utility-backed legislation to restrict net-metering. (Tampa Bay Times)

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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.