CLIMATE: At least 8 people have died in flooding in eastern Kentucky, but Gov. Andy Beshear says the death toll could reach double digits with hundreds of properties potentially destroyed as Appalachia sees increasingly extreme precipitation amplified by the climate crisis. (CNN, Associated Press, Washington Post)

ALSO:
• Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin declares a state of emergency after heavy rainfall leads to more flooding in Southwest Virginia. (WJHL)
Urban “heat islands” in paved, less shaded areas make a neighborhood with mostly Black residents in a North Carolina city feel even hotter in the summer, a study finds. (WTVD)

UTILITIES:
• A Florida Congress member requests federal officials investigate Florida Power & Light after recent news stories show how it used dark money networks to oust its foes from elected office, influence media coverage and follow a journalist deemed too critical. (South Florida Sun-Sentinel, subscription; Miami New Times)
• Hot weather and high fuel costs lead to $1.1 billion in profits for Southern Co. in the first quarter of 2022, nearly triple its earnings from a year ago. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
• Florida Power & Light, Duke Energy Florida and Tampa Electric Co. project they’ll spend nearly $3.4 billion more on power plant fuel this year than expected. (WUWF)

POLITICS:
• West Virginia has barred five major financial institutions from new state business after its state treasurer determined they were distancing themselves from the fossil fuel industry. (Reuters)
• U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin says he “never walked away” from negotiations over climate investments as fellow West Virginia U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito says she’ll vote against the spending package that emerged. (WV Metro News)
• MISO CEO John Bear says Memphis could save $100 million if it breaks with the Tennessee Valley Authority to buy power from MISO. (WKNO)

SOLAR:
• A Virginia board recommends imposing a $23,773 fine on a solar company after inspections revealed multiple water quality violations. (Farmville Herald)
• A 100 MW solar farm under construction in Tennessee will power Google data centers in Tennessee and Alabama. (The Register)
• A plastics, chemicals and refining company announces it will source 165 MW in solar power after previously contracting 216 MW of wind and solar power, all from projects in Texas. (Renewables Now)

STORAGE: An energy developer announces $160 million in funding for 18 battery energy storage systems, 17 of which are in Texas. (Energy Storage News)

ENERGY EFFICIENCY: Tennessee Valley Authority and Jackson Energy Authority partner to upgrade a Tennessee resident’s home as part of an energy efficiency program. (WBBJ)

OIL & GAS: Appalachian natural gas producer EQT talks with liquified natural gas companies as it looks for export opportunities on the East Coast. (Reuters)

CARBON CAPTURE: Oil and gas producers along the U.S. Gulf Coast turn to carbon capture and sequestration plans amid the climate crisis. (Wired)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Rivian lays off more than 800 workers even as it prepares to build a new $5 billion plant just outside of Atlanta. (CBS News)

COMMENTARY:
• Offshore wind development could help South Carolina workers and communities transitioning from coal, writes a state senator. (Charleston Post and Courier)
• The clean energy transition is happening in Oklahoma as renewables grow from 10% of the state’s portfolio in 2011 to 45% in 2021, largely thanks to increased wind power, writes a columnist. (Tulsa World)

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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.