Editor’s note: Southeast Energy News will not publish July 3 and 4; we’ll be back Wednesday, July 5.

CLIMATE: Experts say extreme weather and heat waves like the one that’s killed 13 people in Texas and one in Louisiana this week will likely become more common as the climate changes. (Associated Press)

ALSO: Federal officials announce a collective commitment to overcome a $476 million budget shortfall on a Louisiana flood-reduction project, and construction on the nearly $1 billion project can continue without interruption. (The Advocate)

• Texas’ still-growing solar sector has been a “workhorse” during the recent heat wave, producing more than 15% of the state’s energy in the afternoon hours when power demand surges. (Texas Monthly)
• A company says its planned Texas solar panel factory will begin production later this year. (KXAS)
• The Norfolk, Virginia, city council approves an 8 MW solar farm on the site of a former landfill. (Virginian-Pilot)
• Virginia solar advocates spar with Dominion Energy over what they say are “unreasonable” barriers to connecting third-party solar projects between 250 kW and 1 MW to the grid. (Utility Dive)

Texas’ state power grid hits a new all-time record for power demand amid the heat wave, but a surge in power from renewables has kept wholesale prices from spiking. (PBS News Hour, S&P Global)
• Heat domes continue to hover over the Southeast, but Alabama utilities and energy suppliers say they don’t expect rolling blackouts or even requests to conserve power. (AL.com)

• Duke Energy is selling its commercial renewables business, but says its push to build offshore wind and other regulated renewables won’t be affected. (Wilmington StarNews)
• A company breaks ground in Norfolk, Virginia, to build an offshore wind monitoring and coordination center for Dominion Energy. (WAVY)

CLEAN ENERGY: Georgia’s clean energy sector grew 3.8% from 2021 to 2022 and now accounts for more than 80,000 jobs. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

• The electric vehicle sector’s growing investment in building Southeast factories reflects a decades-long shift to the region stemming largely from lower unionization rates and labor costs. (Quartz)
• Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoes legislation to reduce state fleet emissions and pave the way for the shift to electric vehicles. (Florida Politics)
• Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff of Georgia dismisses Republican Gov. Brian Kemp’s assertion the state deserves more credit than the federal government for winning electric vehicle-related economic development as “just politics.” (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

• As federal regulators greenlight resumption of construction, Mountain Valley Pipeline officials say the project could carry natural gas as soon as this winter. (WSLS, The Hill)
• A Virginia Congress member asks federal regulators to extend the public comment period on the Mountain Valley Pipeline’s request for an extension on its plan to build an extension into North Carolina. (Augusta Free Press)

COAL: Kentucky announces it will allocate $74 million in coal severance tax funds to more than 25 counties. (Huntington Herald-Dispatch)

• Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signs legislation to move oversight of Gainesville’s public utility from the city to a board appointed by the governor. (Florida Politics)
• Texas energy regulators prepare for restructuring and scrutiny as two key agencies go through a “sunset year” during which their operations and necessity are reviewed by state officials. (KEYE)

POLITICS: Virginia will hold elections for all 140 state legislative seats this year in an election that will have significant climate consequences for its commitment to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. (The Nation)

COMMENTARY: Local Louisiana governments have a responsibility to ensure solar development doesn’t overwhelm its neighbors, but also respects developers’ property rights and avoids capricious restrictions, writes an editorial board. (NOLA.com)

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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.