ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee are among the six states that have already pledged more than $1 billion each to attract electric vehicle and EV battery factories, illustrating the hot competition for these projects. (E&E News)

ALSO: Volvo delays the debut of a new electric SUV model due to software problems affecting its South Carolina assembly line. (Charleston Post & Courier))

• Kentucky’s utilities push back against opposition to their plans to use natural gas and more than 900 acres of solar panels to replace coal-fired power plants set for closure. (WDKY)
• An energy company withdraws its plans for a 20 MW Virginia solar farm due to negative public response, two years after it withdrew a different project in the same county. (Roanoke Times)
• A developer’s hopes to build a previously denied 5 MW solar farm are renewed when a city council votes to consider changes to its zoning ordinance. (Gazette-Virginian) 

• Texas grid officials paint a bleak picture of the summer outlook, warning peak demand for electricity likely will exceed dispatchable generation capacity. (KUT)
• The Tennessee Valley Authority announces plans to build 3,800 MW of new power generation after last year’s Christmas Eve cold snap resulted in rolling outages across its territory. (Times Daily)
• Residents of an Atlanta neighborhood organize against Georgia Power over its acquisition of homes to build a new electrical substation. (WXIA)

UTILITIES: A Texas lawmaker’s bill to shift oversight of Austin’s municipal electric utility, away from the city council dies in the state legislature. (Texas Tribune)

OIL & GAS: As U.S. liquefied natural gas exports surge, experts say federal regulators face a “mess” as they figure out how to review proposed LNG exports. (E&E News)

HYDROGEN: An Arkansas city signs a deal with a company to build a $250 million 500 MW hydrogen plant that will break ground this year. (Talk Business & Politics)

• Louisiana lawmakers split over a handful of proposals to tighten restrictions on carbon capture projects that were spurred largely by state residents’ opposition. (WWNO)
• Chevron and two partner companies pursue a carbon capture and storage project in southeast Texas that could be operational by 2026. (KBMT)

West Virginia politicians and its coal industry respond negatively to the U.S. EPA’s proposed new limits on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. (WCHS)
• U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin leads a hearing on proposals to expedite energy permitting, hearing support from industry groups but opposition from environmental groups concerned about weakened protections and the forced completion of the Mountain Valley Pipeline. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

• A retired military official and climate advocate dismisses carbon capture and sequestration as merely another round of greenwashing by the oil and gas industry. (NOLA.com)
• Carbon capture projects should be evaluated not on politics or emotional appeals but on expertise and sound science, writes an editorial board. (NOLA.com)
• Calls for South Carolina to join regional grid operator PJM following winter outages are misplaced, given that PJM could not deliver power it was obligated to sell to the state during those outages, writes the director of an energy think tank. (Real Clear Energy)

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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.