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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COAL ASH: The federal workplace safety agency admits it shredded a file documenting a 2009 complaint about the cleanup of radioactive coal ash in East Tennessee and neglected to shut down the work site and investigate; at least 54 workers who cleaned up the site are now dead and hundreds more are sick. (Tennessee Lookout)

ALSO: After repairs to a liner, Tennessee officials declare a playground built using coal ash is safe — so long as the county government keeps it maintained. (Knoxville News-Sentinel)

SOLAR: A conservative nonprofit calls for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to veto a utility-backed measure to end net-metering that it says would gut the rooftop solar industry and raise energy costs. (WQCS)

OIL & GAS:
• A crude oil pipeline from the Permian Basin to Gulf Coast export markets sees brisk business as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine increases demand. (Carlsbad Current Argus)
• A Texas natural gas-fired power plant files for bankruptcy over debt and 113 lawsuits stemming from an outage during last year’s winter storm. (Wall Street Journal, subscription)

PIPELINES: An Alabama pipeline ruptures at a compressor station with an explosion that can be heard more than a dozen miles away. (WAKA)

COAL: The head of West Virginia’s coal trade group says the industry can benefit from growing European demand and rising gas prices but faces challenges such as workforce and investor reluctance. (WV Metro News)

PETROCHEMICALS: Pipeline opposition and concerns about plastic waste threaten plans for a sprawling petrochemical and plastics hub in the Ohio River Valley. (Yale Environment 360)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Electric vehicle owners, business leaders and stakeholders celebrate the opening of Tesla’s new Texas factory. (KVUE)

POLITICS:
• Virginia Democrats blame Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s veto of a measure mandating Dominion Energy meet energy savings targets, among dozens of other bills, in part on their refusal to approve a former Trump official for a state post. (Virginia Mercury, Virginian-Pilot)
• Savannah, Georgia, leaders call for congressional action on $550 billion earmarked for climate and environmental protection solutions that’s been stalled in the U.S. Senate. (Georgia Current)

TRANSPORTATION: Amtrak and freight rail company CSX engage in an escalating railroad beef over use of the rail lines from Alabama through Mississippi to Louisiana. (Mississippi Today)

CLIMATE: Tampa, Florida, receives a grant to study how to reinforce seawalls and take other measures to protect its coastline from rising seas. (WTOG)

INFRASTRUCTURE: An eastern Kentucky coal county that’s become well known for its water problems eagerly awaits grant funding from the federal bipartisan infrastructure bill, but worries it won’t get enough. (WKYU)

BIOMASS: A wood pellet producer plans to open a fourth manufacturing plant in Mississippi. (Business Facilities)

COMMENTARY:
• The authors of a new scientific study explain how getting Texas to net-zero emissions by 2050 will boost the state economy but require cleaner fuels, higher efficiency, electrification, hydrogen and carbon management. (Dallas Morning News)
• The presidents of four community colleges highlight workforce training programs that prepare Southwest Virginia residents for jobs within the global offshore wind energy supply chain. (Cardinal News)

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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.