ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A lithium company announces it will build a $1.3 billion lithium processing plant in South Carolina to supply electric vehicle and battery companies. (Reuters)

• Georgia lawmakers advance legislation to impose new fees and taxes on electric vehicles that critics say would make it the most expensive state in America to charge an electric car. (WXIA)
• Convenience store chain 7-Eleven announces an electric vehicle charging network that’s already operating in Florida, Texas and two other states. (news release)

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• A West Virginia lawmaker worries attacks from Republican lawmakers on $300 million in state funding to attract an iron-air battery factory could imperil future economic development in the state. (Weirton Daily Times)
• A Virginia city is criticized after a battery energy storage facility moves forward despite neighbors’ concerns because no rezoning change was required. (Virginian-Pilot)

• Florida students lobby state lawmakers to approve legislation to make it easier for schools to install solar arrays. (WFSU)
• A Virginia county scrambles to approve a solar ordinance after a previous administrator signed off on a solar farm with no additional input from county officials. (Martinsville Bulletin)
• A Virginia county board delays consideration of a 4 MW solar farm because an absent board member means it can’t come to a consensus on the decision. (Roanoke Times)
• Nestlé partners with an energy company on a 208 MW solar-plus-storage project in Texas. (Solar Builder)
• An Arkansas farming cooperative will use a solar farm and lithium-ion storage facility to continue operating even during power outages. (Stuttgart Daily Leader)

• West Virginia officials try to push Ohio’s FirstEnergy to buy a coal-fired power plant otherwise slated to close in June. (Ohio Capital Journal)
• West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice appears at a coal-fired power plant to sign four bills to support the coal industry. (WSAZ)
• A West Virginia coal miner is killed underground when a mantrip wrecks. (West Virginia Public Broadcasting)

• Business groups representing Permian Basin oil drillers and ranchers file lawsuits challenging federal protections for an endangered species of prairie chicken. (Reuters)
• A fire erupts at a Houston chemical facility, with early reports suggesting the fire occurred as liquified natural gas was being transferred from a tanker truck to a storage tank. (ABC News)

RENEWABLES: A Louisiana parish launches a marketing campaign largely to attract renewable energy companies after a wind company recently announced it would partner with Shell to build a research and technology hub there. (NOLA.com)

UTILITIES: Arkansas’ attorney general urges state regulators to open investigations into the billing and gas-purchasing practices of Summit Utilities. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

TRANSPORTATION: Several Arkansas communities are awarded $600,000 in grants to build sidewalks and trails to encourage pollution-free transportation. (Arkansas Online)

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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.

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Ken Paulman

Ken is the director of the Energy News Network at Fresh Energy and is a founding editor of both Midwest Energy News and Southeast Energy News. Prior to joining Fresh Energy, he was the managing editor for online news at Minnesota Public Radio. He started his journalism career in 2002 as a copy editor for the Duluth News Tribune before spending five years at the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, where he worked as a copy editor, online producer, features editor and night city editor. A Nebraska native, Ken has a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master's degree from the University of Oregon. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors.