OIL & GAS: Indigenous leaders in Texas lobby global banks to withhold funding for liquified natural gas export facilities planned for the Port of Brownsville. (Inside Climate News)

ALSO:
• The U.S. will draw down 15 million barrels of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in Texas and Louisiana to shore up European exports and relieve energy prices. (S&P Global)
• A lawsuit reveals tenants of an Arkansas apartment complex had complained about the smell of natural gas before a fire earlier this month that killed three people. (Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

RENEWABLES: A study finds solar and wind energy on the Texas power grid will save state residents $11 billion in electricity costs this year, even as critics question renewables’ reliability. (Dallas Morning News)

GRID: Texas regulators approve an 80 MW virtual power plant program to allow customers with solar panels and storage batteries to store extra electricity and sell it back to the grid when needed. (E&E News, subscription)

WIND: Florida Republican Congress members urge leadership to add language in upcoming legislation to restrict offshore wind development in a military testing and training area in the Gulf of Mexico. (news release)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• A Utah-based van rental company orders 9,300 electric vehicles from EV maker Canoo. (Journal Record)
• An electric vehicle company looks to shore up business with a new low-speed model and a relocation of all engineering and production to its Texas headquarters. (Austin Business Journal, subscription)

STORAGE: A company opens an Alabama facility to recycle and process electric vehicle battery packs. (CleanTechnica)

UTILITIES:
• Dominion Energy plans to turn the vacant site of one its former Virginia office buildings into a “clean energy park” with electric vehicle charging, renewable energy installations and public green space. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
• South Carolina lawmakers let state-owned utility Santee Cooper borrow $450 million after unexpectedly high energy prices disrupt its budget projections. (Post and Courier)

BIOGAS: An energy company announces it will build a renewable gas facility to convert a byproduct from the Jack Daniel Distillery in Tennessee. (news release)

POLITICS:
• The down-ballot race for a Texas regulatory post features a Democrat calling for a clean energy transition, a Republican accused of corruption, and a focus on grid reforms after last year’s winter storm. (Dallas Morning News)
• A political action committee announces it will spend $500,000 attacking an incumbent Louisiana energy regulator over skyrocketing electricity bills and an unreliable power grid. (The Advocate)

COMMENTARY:
• Shifting to electric vehicles will free the United States from reliance on foreign oil and the complicated global politics that comes with it, writes a retired Air Force general. (Virginian-Pilot)
• Federal officials should loosen rules to promote production and export of liquified natural gas to reduce prices and strengthen energy security, writes a former Congress member from Louisiana. (NOLA.com)
• A new energy park announced for southwestern Virginia will be used to pitch former coal mines as a place for energy companies to test solar, wind, hydrogen, carbon capture and small nuclear reactors, writes an editor. (Cardinal News)

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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.