SOLAR: Texas regulators approve a 50 MW solar farm on a Houston landfill that will be the nation’s largest urban solar farm. (Houston Chronicle)

• West Virginia regulators approve five solar energy projects proposed by FirstEnergy subsidiaries, but require that they obtain commitments from customers before construction can begin. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• A power company and real estate firm partner to produce more than 450 MW of solar power and are initially considering dozens of sites in the Southeast. (Renewables Now)
• A credit union announces plans to install a 352 kW solar array on the roof of a new operations center in North Carolina. (Solar Power World)

• Public documents show how fines paid by Texas polluters can go to projects and organizations that directly benefit the companies being penalized. (Texas Tribune)
• A Texas oil refinery will close next year as its parent company leaves the refining business. (KHOU)

• A Louisiana community near a longtime neoprene plant hopes for environmental justice as the EPA begins investigating its complaint of racial discrimination against a state agency. (Inside Climate News)
• Florida’s agriculture commissioner doesn’t “have a lot of hope” that the state will meet her goal of generating all its power from renewables by 2050. (WUSF)

WIND: Dominion Energy works with Virginia schools, community colleges and business groups to build a workforce for the burgeoning wind energy field. (WAVY)

• A new study finds climate change and other factors have doubled cost estimates of the damage storm surge might do to Louisiana’s coastal communities. (
• Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee formally declares a disaster after recent wildfires likely sparked by power lines result in an estimated $65 million in damage. (WBIR)
• Virginia residents and activists warn climate change is worsening flooding that will cost the state billions of dollars and threaten residents’ safety. (VCU Capital News Service/WWBT)

Consumer advocates, environmentalists and the coal industry oppose American Electric Power’s plan to raise rates and implement a new operating agreement at a West Virginia coal-fired plant. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• West Virginia’s coal association wants state regulators torework price prediction models to create more certainty for the coal industry and power customers after Appalachian Power files for a rate increase. (WV Metro News)

UTILITIES: Appalachian Power presents options to regulators to comply with Virginia’s clean energy law, including generating more power from wind and solar while still relying on two coal-fired West Virginia power plants until 2040. (Roanoke Times)

WATER: Two Alabama rivers affected by coal ash and agricultural runoff and an Oklahoma stream polluted with heavy metals are listed as some of America’s most endangered rivers. (WSFA, Enid News & Eagle)

TRANSITION: Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt calls for the state to attract more renewable energy and other industries after a drop in oil and gas prices affect the state’s revenue. (Daily Journal)

PUBLIC LANDS: Appalachian environmental groups oppose U.S. Forest Service changes to regulations that exempt certain forest management activities from environmental review. (Virginia Mercury)

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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.