COAL: Federal regulators announce they’ll crack down on coal mines that expose workers to harmful levels of silica dust after a recent study confirmed its connection to black lung disease. (Ohio Valley ReSource, West Virginia Public Broadcasting)

• Memphis, Tennessee, moves closer to breaking off its 80-year relationship with the Tennessee Valley Authority after early analysis of other electricity providers’ bids show the city could save between $25.7 and $55.3 million annually. (WMC, Commercial Appeal)
• Nashville, Tennessee’s mayor calls on the Tennessee Valley Authority to replace a coal-fired power plant with solar energy instead of the utility’s preference for natural gas. (WPLN)

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PIPELINES: Transco seeks a federal permit to build a new compressor station and upgrade its pipeline network in southern Virginia and North Carolina. (Chatham Star-Tribune)

Arkansas officials discuss building out the state’s electric vehicle charging network. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, KNWA)
• Texas officials seek public comment on the state’s plan to build a network of electric vehicle chargers. (North Texas e-News)

• A 10 MW commercial battery storage facility opens in a southern Virginia city. (Martinsville Bulletin)
• A new study says northern Appalachia’s low cost of living and commercial environment position it well as a regional hub for the energy storage industry. (Business Journal)

• Florida Power & Light begins operating new gas turbines at a power plant as it aims to reduce emissions by 70%. (Power Engineering International)
• All the Southeast states except for Virginia and the Carolinas have passed laws that ban localities from prohibiting gas hookups in buildings. (S&P Global)
• Officials at a large Texas natural gas plant are still trying to determine the cause of an explosion that knocked the plant offline. (Washington Post)
• A renewable gas company plans to build pipeline connections to link large-volume buyers in Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas to offset their greenhouse gas emissions. (S&P Global)

NUCLEAR: A central Virginia company wins a contract from the U.S. Defense Department to build the first advanced nuclear microreactor in the U.S. (Virginia Business)

CLIMATE: An organization in coastal Virginia conducts research to develop best flood resilience practices for historic buildings. (WHRO)

FINANCE: A new report finds a North Carolina banking company last year financed more than $856 million in renewable energy projects and issued more than $4 billion in bonds for environmentally and socially focused investments. (Winston-Salem Journal)

• A retired Army official calls on federal regulators to revamp their consideration of more oil and gas infrastructure in hurricane-prone areas along the Gulf Coast. (The Hill)
• A broadcasting company calls on the U.S. government to impose a windfall profit tax on oil companies benefitting from the skyrocketing price of gasoline. (WRAL)
• A columnist chafes at West Virginia regulators’ attempts to force Virginia ratepayers to help pay to keep two coal-fired Appalachian Power plants in West Virginia open and operating. (Virginia Mercury)

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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.