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COAL ASH: A contractor reports it’s reached a settlement with the families of workers who were sickened after they were exposed to fly ash during the cleanup of a 2008 coal ash spill in Tennessee. (Knoxville News Sentinel)

• Enel North America announces it will build a $1 billion solar panel factory in Oklahoma after state lawmakers approved a $180 million incentive package. (Tulsa World)
• A Virginia county board delays voting on a 20 MW solar farm until June. (Smithfield Times)

• Toyota ramps up hiring at its electric-vehicle battery manufacturing plant in North Carolina, which it says is garnering more interest than its other factories. (Winston-Salem Journal)
• Exxon Mobil purchases drilling rights for lithium on 120,000 acres in Arkansas, signaling a recognition of vehicle electrification trends. (Wall Street Journal, subscription)
• South Carolina lawmakers pass legislation to provide businesses with an income tax credit for 25% of the cost of installing electric vehicle chargers. (WLTX)
• Tesla proposes building a service and sales center in Fort Worth, Texas. (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
• A Dallas, Texas, airport tests out a mobile robotic electric vehicle charger. (WKRN)

• As Texas lawmakers take steps to limit wind and solar, neighboring Gulf Coast state Louisiana actively courts the clean energy industry as it aims for net-zero emissions. (Houston Chronicle)
• Texas lawmakers advance legislation to ensure power customers don’t have to pay more than $1 billion per year for new performance credits to incentive construction of gas, coal and battery plants. (Texas Tribune)
• Dominion Energy proposes doubling the number of Virginia customers who can enroll in its time-of-use program that offers participants lower rates for using power during off-peak hours. (Virginia Mercury)
• San Antonio, Texas’ municipal utility will lean heavily on renewables to meet demand during summer weather that’s expected to stretch the capacity of the state power grid. (San Antonio Report)

EFFICIENCY: San Antonio, Texas’ municipal utility renovates a former AT&T building for its new office space to set an example how an older building could be repurposed to be energy efficient. (San Antonio Report)

COAL: A federal judge finds West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s coal companies are liable for nearly six years of unpaid healthcare premiums under a union retiree benefit plan. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

• Shell expects to restart operation of a crude pipeline between Houston and Louisiana after it was shut down in April because of a leak. (Argus)
• An open valve on an oil storage tank spills potentially thousands of gallons in West Virginia. (West Virginia Public Broadcasting)

NUCLEAR: A feasibility study determines southeastern Virginia is a “competitive hosting ground” for a small modular nuclear reactor, and suggests pairing it with a data center because they are “synergistic industries.” (Cardinal News)

HYDROPOWER: Alabama residents express concern at a town council meeting about a power company’s request to study the possibility of building a pumped storage project. (Anniston Star)

CLIMATE: Arkansas contractors settle into a pattern of repairs — roofing, then electricity, then gas, plumbing and heating, ventilation and air conditioning — for homes damaged by tornadoes earlier this spring. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

COMMENTARY: Natural gas remains an important tool for attaining carbon emission reductions, so Congress should approve permitting reform to fast track liquified natural gas export terminals, writes a former Louisiana U.S. senator. (

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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.