CLIMATE: Residents of North Carolina’s Outer Banks try to shore up their homes against rising seas that are claiming up to 13 feet of beach per year in some places. (CBS News)

ALSO:
• Louisiana officials steadily move forward with sediment diversion projects to restore the state’s coastline, funded by settlement proceeds from the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. (NOLA.com)
• Austin, Texas, experiences its third warmest first week of January since 1898. (KXAN)

HYDROGEN: Kentucky joins West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania in an effort to win a hydrogen hub for Appalachia, in addition to its partnership with six states seeking a Midwest hub. (Louisville Public Media)

EMISSIONS:
• A data analysis finds last month’s cold snap just before Christmas resulted in the release of more than 1,000 metric tons of excess pollutants in Texas, with nearly a fifth coming from a single refinery. (Bloomberg)
• Duke Energy says North Carolina’s new carbon emissions reduction plan “advances our clean energy transition” even as critics say it relies too heavily on natural gas instead of renewables. (Wilmington StarNews)

OIL & GAS: Shell announces it has invested $27.5 million into an energy institute at Louisiana State University to “advance reliable, affordable, environmentally responsible energy for all through a just and equity-driven pathway.” (news release)

SOLAR: A poll of Louisiana influencers finds nearly two-thirds support tax breaks for solar projects, but fewer than half have confidence in carbon capture as an effective way to reduce carbon emissions. (NOLA.com)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A Tennessee official touts the state’s central location, low taxes and workforce as reasons for its emergence as a manufacturing leader in the electric vehicle and battery industries. (Southern Standard)

EFFICIENCY: A Virginia county implements energy efficiency measures and on-site solar at a newly built fire station as it aims to be carbon neutral by 2050. (WTOP)

NUCLEAR: Arkansas experts are divided on the potential of a recent nuclear energy breakthrough to make a tangible difference in the clean energy transition, especially in the short term when compared to solar. (Arkansas Business)

POLITICS:
• Georgia lawmakers consider recommendations to establish kilowatt-based charging fees and state inspections of electric vehicle chargers, and to ban mining near Okefenokee Swamp. (Axios Atlanta)
Duke Energy’s rolling blackouts over Christmas weekend could become an issue in this year’s North Carolina legislative session. (WRAL)

UTILITIES: NextEra and Southern Company’s CEOs received more than $100 million during the 5 year period between 2017 and 2021, according to data on utility CEO pay. (Energy and Policy Institute)

COMMENTARY:
• Scientists and engineers have produced an advanced coastal resilience strategy to reduce Louisiana’s risk of rising seas, but a columnist still finds it lacking any mention of the need to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (NOLA.com)
• Texas’ grid manager needs to establish a gas monitor to track the state’s gas market and report any sign of disruption so residents can plan for outages, writes an editorial board. (Houston Chronicle)
• Virginia should spur solar and other energy development by restricting state government’s power to regulate projects, writes the CEO of a conservative energy nonprofit. (Cardinal News)

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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.