SOLAR: The use of power purchase agreements has enabled Virginia’s K-12 schools to double their solar capacity over the last two years, a new report says. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

ALSO: A Virginia town council votes to table changes to plans to promote residential and utility-scale solar after residents complain they’d disrupt wildlife and the town’s character. (Gazette-Virginian)

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The Southern Environmental Law Center—one of the nation’s most powerful environmental defenders, rooted in the South—is hiring an Energy and Climate Communications Manager. This role will oversee regional energy communications, including solar and methane gas issues, to advance climate progress.

• Louisiana regulators finally approve $39 million for a New Orleans power plant after previously blocking it because city officials said they would not enforce the state’s abortion ban. (
• Florida Power & Light warns state residents they may see its technicians using drones to inspect power lines before and after severe weather. (Boca Beacon)

• Alabama coal miners have been on strike for 18 months in a grinding impasse over wages and benefits that points to wider struggles in a coal industry squeezed by energy trends and the fight against climate change. (Christian Science Monitor)
• Exhibitors at a central Appalachian coal trade show say business is booming but they can’t keep up with demand amid supply chain backups. (Bluefield Daily-Telegraph)

• The closure of a Tennessee pediatric clinic for 10 days this summer after air conditioning broke down during a heatwave illustrates just one way climate change threatens health care. (Associated Press)
• Scientists warn rising seas may put 60% of a metro Florida county underwater by 2060. (CBS News)

OIL & GAS: A Maryland energy company announces it will build a natural gas-fired power plant in West Virginia. (WOWK)

EMISSIONS: A Louisiana judge’s rejection of an air pollution permit for a plastics plant marks a win for environmental justice advocates, but the plant’s fate and its impact on state pollution regulations remain unclear. (The Advocate)

• A clean transportation advocate discusses the state of Florida’s electric vehicle market and what must be done to nudge it along. (Tampa Bay Times)
• A Virginia school system receives its first two electric buses. (Amherst New Era-Progress)
• Texas prepares to seek businesses to help build out its electric vehicle charging network. (Waco Tribune-Herald)

RENEWABLES: The economic benefits of clean energy are besting ideology in places like Florida, Oklahoma and Texas even as climate change worsens and costs lives around the world. (Time)

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• Democratic U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia says proposed congressional action on the Mountain Valley Pipeline unfairly swoops in on a complicated political battle and is derailing energy permitting reform. (E&E News)
• Two North Carolina Congress members are among the more than 70 Democrats expressing opposition to a legislation to ease permitting for major energy projects and complete the stalled Mountain Valley Pipeline. (Winston-Salem Journal)

COMMENTARY: A Virginia editor unpacks how wind and solar’s growth is boosting demand for Appalachian metallurgical coal, which is used to make steel. (Cardinal News)

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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.