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ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE: Activists press North Carolina regulators to consider existing pollution when evaluating environmental permit applications to avoid placing disproportionate burdens on people living in the area. (Charlotte Observer)

• The first of two new nuclear reactors at Georgia Power’s Plant Vogtle nears 100% power, seven years late and $17 billion over budget. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Associated Press)
• Years of delays in completing the Plant Vogtle expansion and a failed effort to build similar reactors in South Carolina show the potential difficulties in building new nuclear power facilities. (Associated Press)

• Texas leads the nation in wind and solar generation but experts say it can’t go 100% renewable because economic, technological and regulatory barriers still remain — not to mention the state’s long-term relationship with fossil fuels. (Floodlight/Texas Tribune)
• After years of support led Texas to become the nation’s leading wind power state, state lawmakers have turned against renewables and pushed to prop up fossil fuels instead. (Texas Tribune)

Toyota announces it will receive power from a 100 MW solar farm built on a former mountain top mine on the Kentucky/West Virginia border. (Parkersburg News and Sentinel, news release)
• Duke Energy announces the completion of  two 74.9 MW solar farms in Florida. (Main St. Daily News)

STORAGE: The U.S. Energy Department withdraws a proposed $200 million grant for a Texas-based battery company after Republicans complained about its Chinese subsidiary. (E&E News)

Georgia school bus maker Blue Bird increasingly focuses on making electric buses. (WABE)
• Volkswagen announces it will accelerate 10 projects at a Tennessee research center as part of its transition to making electric vehicles. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)

• An energy company selects a site in Oklahoma known as “the pipeline crossroads of the world” to build a new crude oil refinery. (Stillwater News Press)
• A Texas city council authorizes a new zone for drilling and fracking in a suburban neighborhood. (Inside Climate News)
• Residents of a Texas community complain an oil production company is continuing to operate despite a judge’s order to stop all services because of an oil leak. (KPRC)

COAL: A West Virginia power company negotiates with a coal plant’s owner to keep it operational as its planned closing date approaches on June 1. (West Virginia Public Broadcasting)

HYDROGEN: A company completes a test blending 38% hydrogen at a 753 MW natural gas plant in Alabama, nearly doubling the previous blending record at similar generators. (Power Engineering)

CLIMATE: Louisiana lawmakers consider funding for its own version of an Alabama program that helps residents build and repair houses to better withstand severe weather. (WWNO)

• Recent stories about unpaid debts by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s coal companies illustrate a longstanding pattern of behavior that’s not a good look for the U.S. Senate candidate or his state, writes a talk radio host. (WV Metro News)
• Carbon capture technology still carries significant risks and unknown factors that Louisiana should closely consider before diving in, writes a geologist. (

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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.