POLITICS: Emails show how lobbyists and consultants for two major pipeline firms drafted letters for Virginia and North Carolina elected officials showing support for natural gas projects in those states. (HuffPost)

ALSO: Oil, natural gas and coal industry companies lean toward U.S. Rep. David McKinley in a incumbent-versus-incumbent West Virginia primary. (Forbes, E&E News)

SOLAR:
• Panelists at a solar conference call for Virginia to encourage developers to put solar facilities on brownfields instead of forest and farmland. (Virginia Mercury)
• Tennessee’s solar industry sees a spike in interest during the pandemic from utilities, homeowners and businesses. (Knoxville News-Sentinel)
• North Carolina sees increasing solar opposition from those who claim large projects ruin rural areas and occupy land better suited for farming. (Winston-Salem Journal)
• A renewables company proposes a nearly 80 MW solar farm in North Carolina. (Winston-Salem Journal)
• A Virginia county board considers a 47 MW solar project. (Gazette Virginian)

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE: A Black woman leads a fight against the excavation of clay and sand pits then used as landfills for toxic debris near a small, historically Black community in Florida. (Inside Climate News)

COAL ASH: A Georgia Power executive testifies that four coal ash ponds the utility wants to close will continue to expose groundwater to toxic contaminants. (Georgia Current)

OIL & GAS:
• Despite high global demand, natural gas production slows in the U.S. because of sluggishness in West Texas and Appalachia, where companies say they don’t have enough pipeline infrastructure. (Reuters)
• Experts say a natural gas company’s model of constantly acquiring new oil and gas wells without setting aside enough money to plug old ones endangers Appalachia’s economy and environmental safety. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A Kentucky electric cooperative partners with the Tennessee Valley Authority to install two electric vehicle fast-chargers. (Bowling Green Daily News)

WIND: Two wind turbines installed off Virginia’s coast in 2020 have performed well, and Dominion Energy continues its plan to build 176 new turbines there by 2026. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

NUCLEAR: Southern Co.’s CEO tells stakeholders the two-unit expansion of the Vogtle nuclear plant in Georgia is on track to begin operation in 2023. (Power)

CARBON CAPTURE: An oil and gas company announces an agreement to explore a large carbon-capture pipeline network for the petrochemical industry along the Texas coast. (Journal of Petroleum Technology)

BIOGAS: A renewable gas facility begins operating at a South Carolina produce farm. (WBTW)

UTILITIES: Virginia regulators will decide soon on Appalachian Power’s plan to develop more renewables and comply with the Virginia Clean Economy Act. (Roanoke Times)

CLIMATE: New weather modeling research shows climate change will likely result in more severe storms capable of producing tornadoes and hail in Arkansas and other Southeast states in coming decades. (Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

COAL: The Tennessee Valley Authority asks for public comment on the proposed closure of two coal-fired units at a Tennessee power plant, and their likely replacement with 1,450 MW of gas, solar and storage. (Chattanoogan)

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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.