GRID: Wind and solar are helping to prop up the Texas state power grid through record-breaking summer temperatures, but experts say strained transmission infrastructure is preventing the grid from handling renewables’ full output. (Inside Climate News)

High temperatures and an electric grid in transition combine for a summer likely to influence future energy policy decisions in Texas and beyond. (E&E News, subscription)
• Duke Energy requests rate increases in North Carolina to fund $75 billion in infrastructure improvements over the next decade to prepare the grid for the electric vehicle transition. (WNCN)

• An energy company builds a 230 MW solar farm that will provide 40% of the power for a steel mill under construction in Arkansas. (Arkansas Business)
• A student team at the University of Florida unveils a solar-powered car it will use to compete in a Kansas grand prix this week. (Independent Florida Alligator)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: South Carolina developers begin planning for residual economic development that will come as Scout Motors prepares to build a factory to make electric SUVs. (Post and Courier)

BIOMASS: Mississippi regulators flagged a wood pellet plant for pollution levels two times higher than the legal limit, but two similar plants run by the same operator in Louisiana haven’t been checked because state regulators there don’t test for formaldehyde, methanol and other chemicals. (

• An expert discusses a new study that finds U.S. oil and gas production is responsible for $77 billion annually in health impacts nationwide, with Texas among the states with the most health damages. (Texas Standard)
• A Texas technical college receives a $637,000 grant to fund new natural gas-related courses. (KETK)

EMISSIONS: Duke Energy considers how its North Carolina operations will be affected by the U.S. EPA’s proposed rule to limit carbon emissions from coal- and natural gas-fired power plants. (Charlotte Observer)

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE: The federal government pursues an investigation to address long-standing sewage infrastructure problems in Alabama’s Black Belt and provide residents the right to basic sanitation in their homes. (Inside Climate News)

• Extreme heat threatens corn crops in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, potentially threatening the state’s food supply. (Texas Tribune)
• Georgia peach farmers receive financial relief for spring freezes that devastated this year’s crop, but see that as only a short-term remedy against a changing climate. (Macon Telegraph)
• Weather forecasters predict dangerous heat in Louisiana for the next few weeks, with higher-than-average temperatures expected to persist into the fall. (WWNO)

UTILITIES: A Kentucky lawmaker and head of a community kitchen worry Kentucky Power’s request for an 18% rate increase will strain local residents already struggling to pay their power bills. (Floyd County Chronicle)

POLITICS: The White House jousts with Republican Congress members over credit for clean energy and infrastructure improvements in Alabama, South Carolina and other states resulting from federal legislation that Republicans opposed. (Washington Post)

• A proposed data center in Georgia will strain the power grid and increase greenhouse gas emissions while providing few jobs, writes a Georgia healthcare official. (Newnan Times-Herald)
• Floridians who care about rising seas and extreme weather should back ballot initiatives to protect clean water resources and bypass state officials who deny climate change, writes an environmentalist. (News-Press)

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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.