GRID: Eight sources in the power industry say Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is exerting extraordinary influence in the search for a new CEO of the state’s power grid, as well as what information the grid operator releases to the public. (Texas Tribune)

ALSO:
• Experts complain Texas has focused nearly all of its grid reform efforts on increasing supply while largely ignoring ways it could reduce demand through energy efficiency. (Texas Observer)
• Dominion Energy makes grid improvements in a Virginia county ahead of schedule to meet growing power demand from data centers. (Loudoun Now)

WIND:
• Dominion Energy collects research from two offshore wind turbines near Virginia as it prepares to dramatically expand the wind farm beginning in 2024. (Radio IQ)
• A renewable energy firm and its venture partner sell off a 199 MW Oklahoma wind farm for $250 million. (Journal Record)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• A Tennessee-based car parts manufacturer invests $11 million in plant renovations in an effort to become a hub for electric vehicle parts and safety systems. (The Daily Times)
• Electric vehicle maker Arrival drops plans to build electric cars and buses, raising questions about its previously announced South Carolina bus factory. (WKRN)
• West Virginia transportation officials criticize the state’s electric vehicle charger plan because it would only place them along major highways, which they say would benefit tourists more than state residents. (WBOY)
• A Georgia nonprofit urges state school systems to apply to the U.S. EPA for a grant to purchase electric school buses. (WUPA, Capitol Beat News Service)

KENTUCKY FLOODING: U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell visits flood-ravaged eastern Kentucky, where he downplays climate change and suggests using leftover state COVID funds to speed recovery. (Louisville Courier Journal)

UTILITIES:
• Memphis, Tennessee’s search for a new power supplier leads to a city council clash after the revelation that the council chair is seeking to hire a consultant, even though another city official was supposed to handle hiring to keep politics out of the process. (Commercial Appeal)
• A Texas city avoids bankruptcy over its lingering bill from last year’s winter storm when it reaches an agreement with its natural gas supplier. (Stillwater News Press)
• Residents of a Florida city express frustration and outrage over electric bills that were recently identified as the second highest in the state. (Gainesville Sun)

COAL: A West Virginia utility reaches a settlement to upgrade wastewater treatment at two coal-fired power plants to keep them operating past 2028. (West Virginia Public Broadcasting)

CLIMATE: A survey finds most Southwest Florida residents believe in climate change, but Democrats and Republicans vary widely in whether economic growth should be prioritized over addressing it. (Fort Myers Florida Weekly)

POLITICS: The West Virginia coal industry turns on U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin over his support of a climate spending bill, intensifying Republican efforts to turn him out of office even though he’s not up for reelection until 2024. (E&E News)

COMMENTARY: U.S. Senate Democrats’ climate spending package would help reduce climate-related damages to Virginia, which are expected to cost the state $6 billion this year alone, writes a policy director of an environmental advocacy group. (Roanoke Times)

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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.