COAL ASH: The Tennessee Supreme Court questions lawyers for a company that oversaw safety during cleanup of a 2008 power plant coal ash spill as it determines whether workers who say they were sickened during the cleanup can sue. (Knoxville News-Sentinel, Associated Press)

ALSO: Wednesday’s hearing in the Tennessee Supreme Court is the first attempt to include coal ash under the state’s silica exposure law, but not the first time the contracting company has tried to escape financial responsibility for its role in the alleged poisoning of coal ash cleanup workers. (Tennessee Lookout) 

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SOLAR:
• A Korean solar panel maker announces it will build a second factory in Georgia, with plans to open next year. (Washington Post)
• A rural Virginia county board will consider a proposed 240 MW solar farm after planners recommend approval. (News & Record)
• Appalachian Power tells West Virginia regulators a planned 50 MW solar farm is on track, even after the company building it warns of likely delays in connecting it to the PJM grid. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

GRID:
• The New Orleans region will begin this year’s hurricane season reliant on an aging grid with only eight major transmission lines, despite repairs after Hurricane Ida knocked out power to more than a million households last year. (NOLA.com, subscription)
• Duke Energy officials say they’re prepared for hot weather and high demand this summer. (WRAL)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Local Georgia candidates who based their campaigns on opposition to a Rivian’s planned $5 billion electric vehicle factory generally found little success in last week’s primary elections. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

OIL & GAS:
• Workers in Oklahoma try to stop an oil leak from an underground tank from reaching the Oklahoma River. (KFOR)
• The Texas Supreme Court awards eminent domain authority to a company building a gas pipeline over landowners on the Gulf Coast. (The Texan)
• A new analysis by environmental groups finds more than 5.26 million Texans live within a half-mile of oil or gas production facilities, the most in the country. (Dallas Morning News)

TRANSITION: A southwestern Virginia county completes a $5 million renovation of former coal mines into an industrial park. (Bristol Herald Courier)

CLIMATE:
• Rising temperatures, withdrawals for agriculture and a drought threaten the Rio Grande, which experts predict could dry up completely all the way to Albuquerque this summer for the first time since the 1980s. (Yale Environment 360)
• From installing solar panels to purchasing bomb shelters, Texas residents prepare for hurricane season after learning hard lessons during power outages amid last year’s winter storm. (KYTX)
• A town on the Florida Panhandle is rebuilding after Hurricane Michael destroyed 85% of its buildings three years ago. (NPR)

POLITICS:
• President Joe Biden’s nominees to the Tennessee Valley Authority board have been waiting more than a year for U.S. Senate confirmation at a pivotal time when the federal agency is considering dramatic changes to its electricity mix. (E&E News)
U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm will visit Tampa, Florida, today to tout clean energy infrastructure. (WTSP)

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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.