UTILITIES: Duke Energy’s preferred plan to reduce carbon emissions would replace 9 GW of coal-fired power with roughly 3.5 GW of natural gas and eventually hydrogen, which critics say ignores the fuel’s methane emissions and the national transition to renewables. (Energy News Network)

• Memphis, Tennessee’s utility board opts against resigning a 20-year contract with the Tennessee Valley Authority but remains on its current 5-year deal for now. (Commercial Appeal, Chattanooga Times Free Press)
• A federal appeals court opens the door for five electric companies to intervene in NextEra’s lawsuit challenging a Texas law that lets only existing utility facilities in Texas build, own, or operate transmission lines that directly interconnect with the same facility. (Bloomberg)
• Advocates say barriers to receiving federal assistance for heating bills means only a third of eligible Kentuckians actually receive it. (Kentucky Lantern)

• Duke Energy completes repairs to a pair of North Carolina electric substations that were damaged by gunfire and resulted in more than 45,000 customers losing power. (Associated Press)
• Investigators look into the substation attacks, with a nearby drag show and online writing encouraging attacks on critical infrastructure both arising as possible motives. (Fayetteville Observer, CNN)
• Texas auditors release a report finding “woefully under-resourced” state regulators and other problems as state agencies try to reform its standalone power grid and energy market. (KXAN)

• Virginia air regulators advance the governor’s proposal to leave a regional carbon trading market, although critics dispute the legality of the move. (Richmond Times-Dispatch, Virginia Mercury)
• North Carolina regulators extend the deadline for awarding an air permit to a wood pellet maker after hearing pollution concerns from the public and a state official. (Coastal Review)

SOLAR: Attorneys general in Tennessee and eight other states advocate for customers who purchased faulty rooftop solar systems from a company that abruptly closed and filed for bankruptcy in October. (WTVF)

• Tesla names a longtime executive who oversaw construction of the company’s gigafactory in Shanghai, China, to run its newest factory in Austin, Texas. (Bloomberg)
• Appalachian Regional Commission officials tour an Alabama community college with a workforce training program to assist the automotive industry’s shift to electric vehicles. (Cullman Times)
• A Virginia county board unanimously approves a plan to replace slightly more than a fifth of its gasoline-powered fleet with either electric or hybrid vehicles. (Loudoun Times-Mirror)

NUCLEAR: Georgia Power completes cold hydro testing for the second of two new reactors at nuclear Plant Vogtle, clearing the way for the last major test of the new units next year. (Capitol Beat News Service)

EFFICIENCY: Oklahoma regulators approve a swath of conservation and energy programs for Oklahoma Natural Gas to save customers $32 million, or $1.42 on the average monthly bill. (Tulsa World)

COMMENTARY: The federal climate package undermines Duke Energy’s plan to lean into natural gas to decrease carbon emissions and should prompt reevaluation by North Carolina regulators, writes a former state official. (Energy News Network)

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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.