COAL ASH: A Georgia resident files a wrongful death lawsuit against Georgia Power, saying his daughter contracted fatal breast cancer from toxic coal ash contaminating her well water near a power plant. (WGXA)

Texas’ power grid largely held during this week’s winter storm, but numerous localized outages spur calls for additional reform. (Texas Tribune, Associated Press)
• An ice storm leaves at least 82,000 Arkansans without power. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)
• This week’s winter storm could provoke mental health challenges for Texans who struggled through 2021’s landmark winter storm, which nearly broke the power grid in the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Texas Tribune)
• Oklahoma’s electricity and natural gas price spikes that resulted from the 2021 winter storm outpaced even Texas and will linger for years to come. (Oklahoma Watch/KWTV)
• A federal report outlines problems and opportunities for the Tennessee Valley Authority to proactively safeguard the power grid against extreme weather in its seven-state territory. (
• Texas lawmakers and regulators try to prop up oil and gas power on the state power grid despite rapid solar and wind growth. (Vox)

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SOLAR: Florida Power & Light brings 10 new solar facilities totaling 745 MW online, bringing the company to 60 total solar projects so far. (news release)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Mississippi lawmakers consider legislation to restrict electric vehicle sales to independent auto dealers, running counter to the industry’s company-run store model and conservatives’ free-market philosophy. (WXXV)

GEOTHERMAL: An energy columnist discusses the logistical and political challenges of developing geothermal energy in Texas. (Texas Standard)

• U.S. senators question the Biden administration’s decision to award $200 million to a Texas battery manufacturer that plans to partner with General Motors on a Tennessee plant because of its ties to China. (Houston Chronicle)
• Duke Energy tests a 2 MW solar facility with 4.4 MW battery and finds the microgrid could sustain a small North Carolina town for a few hours during an outage. (Power Engineering)

COAL: A Kentucky coal company and one of its employees plead guilty to violating federal health and safety rules by cheating on dust sampling intended to protect miners from black lung disease. (Lexington Herald-Leader)

• Kentuckians express frustration that millions in tornado relief still haven’t reached people who need it. (Kentucky Lantern)
• Kentucky experiences the effects of climate change in the form of last year’s historic flooding and 2021’s tornadoes, experts say. (College Heights Herald)

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POLITICS: West Virginia lawmakers advance bills to create a new coalfields research and development authority, to exempt rare earth minerals from severance tax for 12 years, and to increase funding for oil and gas well inspection. (Charleston Gazette-Mail, subscription)

• Louisiana’s new climate plan demonstrates how the state stands at the nexus of climate change and the energy debates that accompany it, from losing barrier islands to its vast petrochemical and offshore drilling industries, writes an editorial board. (
• North Carolina’s decarbonization plan disappoints state residents and clean energy advocates by leaving in place its de facto “all-of-the-above” energy policy, writes a climate activist. (Natural Resources Defense Council)
Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s decision to block a Ford plant imperils the state’s potential to attract other electric vehicle and battery factories, writes an economic policy analyst. (Virginia Mercury)

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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.