CLIMATE: A landscape built to support the fading coal industry — modest, unprotected homes, decaying infrastructure and land shorn of its natural defenses — made eastern Kentucky even more vulnerable to last week’s deluge of rain and flooding. (New York Times)

• The death toll from flooding in eastern Kentucky reaches 37, but heavily damaged infrastructure has made it difficult for searchers to reach some places. (CNN)
• Louisiana completes one large coastal restoration project and starts work on several more. (Associated Press)

• Records reveal a political consulting firm used by Alabama Power and other utilities to track journalists, smear politicians and manufacture protests also hired a private investigator to surveil Southern Company’s CEO. (
• A Kentucky municipal utility official presents long-term plans that include renewables and a new natural gas-fired peaker plant. (The Gleaner)

• Georgia transportation officials submit the state’s electric vehicle charging plan to federal officials to qualify for infrastructure funding. (Savannah Morning News)
• An electric boat maker announces it will build a factory in western North Carolina. (Associated Press)

SOLAR: A Florida county board approves a nearly 75 MW Florida Power & Light solar farm. (

• A federal labor board orders the United Mine Workers of America to pay more than $13 million to Warrior Met Coal in Alabama for costs related to a strike that’s been ongoing for more than a year. (Associated Press)
• The West Virginia Coal Association and other coal industry groups blast Senate Democrats’ climate spending package and warn it will “severely threaten American coal.” (WV News, The Hill)
• Federal officials invite states to apply for $725 million to clean up abandoned mine sites, including up to $22.8 million for Virginia and $140.75 million for West Virginia. (States Newsroom)

• More than 12,000 Florida residents lose power when lightning causes a fire at a Duke Energy substation. (Orlando Sentinel)
• Dominion Energy rebuilds a transmission line across extreme mountainous terrain in western Virginia. (WMRA)

RENEWABLE GAS: North Carolina environmental groups challenge a new state biogas permit that allows farms to use systems the groups say pollute the air and groundwater. (Coastal Review)

NUCLEAR: Federal officials approve fuel loading for long-delayed Unit 3 at Plant Vogtle in Georgia. (Power Engineering)

EFFICIENCY: West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice approves $3.3 million in federal grant funding for a weatherization program. (WBOY)

WORKFORCE: Federal officials announce a $23.7 million grant to develop a clean energy workforce training program at North Carolina A&T State University, the nation’s largest historically Black university. (WTVD)

OIL & GAS: News of a temporarily closed natural gas terminal’s progress toward returning to service this fall triggers a price bump in natural gas futures. (Natural Gas Intelligence, subscription)

• Soaring coal and natural gas prices boost West Virginia’s severance tax revenues to 18 times the amount projected late last year, writes a talk radio host. (WV Metro News)
• News coverage of Kentucky flooding has left out the likely role of mountaintop removal coal mining, writes a columnist. (KnoxTNToday)

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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.