SOLAR: A new report finds more than two-thirds of large-scale solar farms in North Carolina sit on land previously used for agriculture, but take up just 0.27% of the state’s 11 million acres of farmland. (Winston-Salem Journal)

ALSO: West Virginia regulators approve Appalachian Power’s request to buy and recover costs from a 50 MW solar farm. (Huntington Herald-Dispatch)

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE: In a federal trial this week, four Georgians claim Black residents suffer disproportionately from higher power bills and are disenfranchised by the state utility regulator’s candidacy rules. (Georgia Recorder)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Volvo designs and sells an electric tractor-trailer truck from its Virginia plant to a logistics company. (WDBJ, Roanoke Times)

EMISSIONS:
• Texas Gov. Greg Abbott presses President Biden to oppose a proposed U.S. EPA action that could set stricter air quality standards for oil and gas drilling in the Permian Basin. (news release, Argus Media)
• Kentucky’s attorney general joins 14 states opposing the EPA’s plans to cut ozone-forming emissions in 26 states to prevent smog from traveling into downwind states. (WFPL)

UTILITIES:
• Critics push back against a Texas municipal utility’s plans to consolidate its five-tiered residential rate structure in a way that will increase rates. (Austin Monitor)
• West Virginia residents complain they can’t handle another Appalachian Power rate increase in the second of four public hearings on the matter. (WVNS)
• An executive at South Carolina’s state-owned Santee Cooper who was hired to stabilize the utility in the wake of a controversial decision to abandon a nuclear plant expansion is stepping down after three years. (Post and Courier)

GRID:
More than 11,000 Louisiana homes and businesses lost power on Sunday after severe storms, but most have been restored. (KPLC)
• Roughly 6,000 Floridians were without power last night after evening thunderstorms. (WFTS)
• Ratepayers criticize Florida Power & Light’s plan to charge customers to brace its network against extreme winter temperatures as unnecessary. (Palm Beach Post)

OIL & GAS: Consultants predict Gulf Coast oil exports from Texas and Louisiana will hit a record high of 3.3 million barrels per day this quarter. (Washington Examiner)

TRANSITION: A developer plans to redevelop a former chemical plant in eastern Tennessee into an industrial park. (Chattanooga Times Free Press, Chattanoogan)

COMMENTARY:
• North Carolina regulators should have clearly explained to Dominion Energy why they set a different standard for coal ash cleanup rules than in previous years in a case that wound up in the state supreme court, writes a conservative policy analyst. (Carolina Journal)
• Georgia Power should reconsider its proposal to increase rates for fuel costs because it’s already raising them for a nuclear plant’s expansion, writes an editorial board. (Brunswick News)
• An editorial board credits Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for vetoing legislation to allow businesses to sue local governments to recover profits lost to local ordinances, which would have effectively killed many local environmental ordinances. (Miami Herald)

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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.