WIND: Shell and other fossil fuel companies express interest in offshore wind power in the Gulf of Mexico to make renewable hydrogen to power industrial processes and reduce their carbon footprint. (Louisiana Illuminator/Floodlight)

Christmas week’s Winter Storm Elliott puts new urgency on grid rebuilding and reform after setting new demand records and triggering rolling blackouts across Tennessee and the Carolinas. (E&E News, States Newsroom)
• Duke Energy officials tell North Carolina regulators a combination of malfunctioning equipment, bitter cold and the inability to purchase power from other entities dealing with similar conditions led to rolling blackouts days before Christmas. (WRAL)
• The Tennessee Valley Authority pledges to review the conditions that led to rolling blackouts just before Christmas and implement “corrective actions.” (The Tennessean)
Average retail electricity costs in Texas and 34 other states that deregulated their energy markets are higher than in Florida and the 14 other states that have not, a study finds. (New York Times)

SOLAR: A West Virginia poultry farm installs 1,400 solar panels to produce more than 940,000 kW, covering nearly all of its energy needs. (Meat + Poultry)

• An electric vehicle subscription company opens with Tesla products in Austin, Texas. (Austin Business Journal)
• A lithium company amends its contract to provide Tesla with lithium from Quebec because it’s still waiting for regulatory approval for a planned North Carolina mining and processing operation. (WFAE)
• Electric vehicle maker Rivian barely missed its production target for 2022 after halving it earlier in the year, and delaying production until 2026 of a new vehicle to be made at its planned Georgia factory. (Reuters)
• An ultra-luxury electric vehicle maker names Miami and south Florida as a prime EV market, the second-largest in the U.S. after California. (WLRN)

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE: Advocates for Black communities in Jackson, Mississippi, and Birmingham, Alabama, collaborate and compare experiences as they work toward solutions for years of pollution in both cities. (Gulf States Newsroom/WBHM)

PIPELINES: The U.S. Forest Service proposes allowing the Mountain Valley Pipeline to cross a national forest, if a court doesn’t strike the plan as it’s done previously. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

EMISSIONS: Conservative critics of North Carolina’s newly released emissions reduction plan call for oversight hearings because they say it may not comply with state law, which names reliability and affordability as priorities. (Carolina Journal)

• Texas regulators approve a 1,215 MW combined cycle power plant that can co-fire natural gas and hydrogen to replace end-of-life legacy gas plants. (Daily Energy Insider)
• A refining company estimates the process of cleaning up more than 14,000 gallons of spilled oil in Texas will cost more than $1 million. (KIIV)
• A Japanese company nears a deal to acquire a Houston-based natural gas company that operates in Texas and Louisiana. (Reuters)

CLIMATE: Texas’ agricultural department links “climate instability” to a recent drought and names it as a threat to the state’s food security. (Texas Tribune)

• Solar kept Duke Energy’s rolling blackouts in the Carolinas on Christmas weekend from being even worse, spotlighting the need for a transition to renewables, writes a clean energy advocate. (Charlotte Observer)
• A retired Dominion Energy official says Virginia is an ideal location to deploy small modular reactors, while a nuclear researcher argues that solar, wind and new energy storage technologies are better ways to achieve decarbonization. (Cardinal News)

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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.