GRID: Puerto Rico’s power grid is in crisis, facing lingering outages from Hurricane Fiona, unrepaired damage from a 2017 hurricane, and a private company that has hiked rates seven times since taking over last year. (HuffPost)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Louisiana’s state auditor finds the state’s gas tax fails to cover the cost of road and bridge maintenance, and even new road usage fees for hybrid and EV owners won’t cover the difference. (Louisiana Illuminator)
• Electric vehicle maker Rivian expands into Austin, Texas, with a combination service center and dealership. (Austin American-Statesman)
• Volkswagen celebrates the rollout of the first electric vehicle made at its factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee. (WDEF)
• Federal officials award nearly $300 million for two companies with North Carolina ties to develop lithium battery-focused projects. (WRAL)

SOLAR: An energy company completes construction of a 130 MW solar farm in Alabama to provide power to 11 municipal utilities. (Solar Power World)

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE: A predominantly Black and low-income Alabama town fights a permit renewal for a landfill that imports out-of-state waste, coal ash and industrial pollution. (Environmental Health News)

COAL:
• Federal data shows Appalachian coal production rose 12% in 2021 as the number of jobs fell by 5%. (West Virginia Public Broadcasting)
• Kentucky sees coal production rise but energy prices are going up too. (WFPL)

PIPELINES:
• Federal regulators approve a natural gas pipeline in Kentucky to feed two new gas-fired units that will replace coal at an Indiana power plant near the state line. (Bloomberg Law)
• Opponents of the Mountain Valley Pipeline point to West Virginia regulators’ citations of water quality violations as evidence they should not have granted a key permit for the project last year. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

CARBON CAPTURE: A recently announced Louisiana carbon-capture collaboration has attracted praise from state officials as a prototype for the fossil fuel industry, as well as criticism from environmental advocates who see it as a diversion from more proven decarbonization solutions. (Louisiana Illuminator)

CLIMATE: Federal officials forecast drought conditions across the southern United States and Gulf Coast that may exacerbate already-low water levels on the Mississippi River. (Reuters)

TRANSITION: Officials announce nearly $10 million for 11 projects to create jobs in struggling coal communities, as well as more than $74 million for the state to clean up hazardous sites and address environmental injustices. (Commonwealth Journal, news release)

FINANCE: Virginia’s Republican attorney general joins with 18 other states to investigate six major banks striving for net-zero emissions. (Virginia Mercury)

NUCLEAR: Georgia officials celebrate the completion of fuel loading at the first of two new units at nuclear Plant Vogtle as a milestone in the shift toward stable, carbon free energy in the state. (WJBF)

POLITICS: North Carolina faces immediate effects of climate change, a legacy of toxic coal ash, and other environmental issues, but they’ve all taken a backseat in the state’s pivotal U.S. Senate race. (Inside Climate News)

COMMENTARY: An environmental group calls on North Carolina regulators to reject Duke Energy’s state-required decarbonization plan and instead develop its own plan that relies much more on renewable energy and battery storage. (news release)

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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.