UTILITIES: North Carolina regulators consider whether to approve or edit Duke Energy’s decarbonization plan after a contentious three-and-a-half-week hearing in which opponents criticized the plan for its slow pace and reliance on natural gas. (WUNC)

ALSO: West Virginia regulators’ scrutiny of Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power’s requested rate hike focuses less on its effect on ratepayers and more on why the utilities haven’t been burning more coal. (Huntington Herald-Dispatch)

COAL:
• Environmental groups sue federal regulators for failing to act on Texas’ air quality standards plan, effectively letting eight state coal-fired power plants avoid pollution controls. (Reuters)
• West Virginia’s coal association warns that 90% of the state’s coal is moved by rail, highlighting the dire consequences of a rail strike after a union rejects a tentative agreement. (WCHS)
• An environmental group sues the Tennessee Valley Authority for records showing plans to build natural gas-fired generation to replace coal plants in Tennessee. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: The Tennessee Valley Authority announces plans to convert its fleet of 1,200 light- and medium-duty vehicles to electric by 2030, including the use of a Volkswagen model with custom storage for drones and field equipment. (Detroit Free Press)

SOLAR:
• A Florida housing provider partners with a solar nonprofit to power an affordable housing village. (WJAX)
• A Kentucky county board agrees to withhold bond funding for a solar project until it approves a solar ordinance to establish setbacks or sets them up contractually. (Cadiz Record)

GRID:
Florida’s rapid restoration of power to more than 2 million people after Hurricane Ian shows resilience built by 15 years of investments in grid hardening. (Christian Science Monitor)
• Three years after breaking with Kentucky Utilities to form a regional municipal energy agency, a group of Kentucky localities acknowledge the possibility of rolling blackouts when demand exceeds supply. (The Messenger)

CLIMATE:
• New data shows a majority of the more than 100 deaths in Hurricane Ian were caused by drowning amid storm surge, high surf or flooding rains, while lack of medical access also contributed. (Fox Weather)
• A Virginia nonprofit’s new headquarters is located in a flood plain and designed to be submerged to show how to work, play and live with rising seas. (Washington Post)

PIPELINES: A group of older Virginian activists is part of the effort to stop the Mountain Valley Pipeline. (VPM)

POLITICS:
• Climate change remains a tricky, partisan issue in Kentucky — even in communities where tornadoes killed 80 people last year and flooding killed 40 over the summer. (Agence France-Presse)
• Georgia voters split along partisan lines over the importance of climate change, although half say the U.S. needs to do more to address it and a majority approve the recent climate spending package. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

COMMENTARY:
• A Democratic state lawmaker defends Virginia’s participation in a regional carbon trading market against criticism from a member of Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s administration who wants to withdraw the state from the market. (Washington Post)
• The president of the Louisiana Oil & Gas Association uses the example of underground gas storage to defend carbon capture as a safe, proven technology after two parish councils establish temporary moratoriums against the practice. (NOLA.com)

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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.