EFFICIENCY: North Carolina developers protest energy-saving changes to state building codes endorsed by clean energy and climate advocates, potentially pushing the question to a state legislature that’s heavily influenced by the homebuilding lobby. (Energy News Network)

• South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster defends the state’s $1.3 billion incentive deal to land electric vehicle maker Scout Motors after conservative lawmakers criticized the company as too culturally progressive. (Rock Hill Herald)
• Tennessee lawmakers advance a $3 billion transportation plan that includes new electric vehicles fees to offset lost gas taxes. (Tennessean)

• A Florida county board considers Florida Power & Light’s proposal to build a fourth, nearly 75 MW solar farm in the county. (NorthEscambia.com)
• A Virginia city considers a company’s proposal to build an 8 MW solar farm on a former landfill, with 5 MW reserved for a community solar program. (WAVY)
• A North Carolina city aims to install a 70 kW solar array on a municipal building by summer. (Winston-Salem Journal)
• A Virginia planning commission recommends against a 50 MW solar farm proposed on the site of a former mining operation. (Nelson County Times)

• A river authority selects a site south of Austin, Texas, to build a 190 MW natural gas “peaker” plant. (Austin Monitor)
• North Carolina officials are still trying to clean up millions of gallons of gasoline leaked from a pipeline nearly three years ago. (Axios)

• An interfaith group joins with Louisiana officials to announce four solar microgrids to give residents places to shelter during disasters. (Louisiana Illuminator)
• Consultants tell South Carolina lawmakers they could save customers money and promote renewables by changing the way electricity is delivered to introduce more competition and efficiency. (WFAE)
• South Carolina lawmakers respond to last year’s attacks on electrical substations by passing bills to stiffen penalties and to create a punishment scale based on the amount of damage. (WLTX)

• Florida lawmakers consider legislation to move power over regional utilities away from a city commission to a board appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis. (Independent Florida Alligator)
• Members of a South Carolina town council debate long-standing franchisee fees charged to taxpayers as part of their electric and gas bills. (Post and Courier)

BIOMASS: Mississippi regulators approve permits for a wood pellet plant, but opponents petition to shift oversight of the facility’s pollution to a county government. (WLOX)

• Experts worry Texas may buck recently proposed U.S. EPA rules for particulate matter that could relieve air pollution in Black communities adjacent to industry. (Texas Tribune)
• Federal officials call on a judge to issue an injunction to force a Louisiana chemical company to invest in pollution controls to reduce its emission of a carcinogenic pollutant. (WWNO)

• Scientists blame recent flooding and tornadoes in Kentucky on climate change, but state lawmakers have declined to adopt specific greenhouse gas emissions targets or restrict fossil fuels. (Louisville Public Media)
• A Texas education board calls for schools to recognize the “positive” aspects of fossil fuels in textbooks after a member argues current teaching about climate change is too negative. (E&E News)

COMMENTARY: A professor blames Appalachian miners’ exposure to higher levels of silica dust and a corresponding spike in black lung cases on Republican presidential administrations who largely deregulated the coal industry. (Virginia Mercury)

More from the Energy News Network: Midwest | Southeast | Northeast | West

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.