OIL & GAS: The Tennessee Valley Authority plans nearly 1.5 GW in natural gas to replace a coal plant slated for closure, but landowners and experts question its true cost and potential effect on climate change. (WPLN)

• The U.S. Department of Energy plans to announce a $2.5 billion loan for three lithium battery manufacturing hubs in Tennessee, Ohio and Michigan. (CNN)
• A chemical company announces it will build a lithium research and development facility in North Carolina. (WRAL)
• What will be the largest storage project on the Texas grid changes hands as construction on the 190 MW facility nears completion. (Dallas Morning News)
• A Texas school district unanimously approves tax incentives in hopes of attracting a lithium refinery that Tesla has proposed to shore up its battery material supply chain. (Teslarati)

RENEWABLES: Texas led the U.S. in renewable energy projects last year with 7,325 MW of new wind, solar and energy storage, and still has hydrogen fuel plants and a 272 MW solar farm under construction. (Construction Dive) 

SOLAR: NextEra will build a 310 MW solar farm in Texas to supply power to a polymers company. (Renewables Now)

EMISSIONS: A coal company owned by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s family agrees to pay $925,000 and follow air monitoring requirements after it’s cited for air quality violations in Alabama. (ProPublica)

GRID: Texas officials brace for an Arctic blast forecast later in December that could test reforms to the state power grid implemented since 2021’s winter storm. (Newsweek)

PIPELINES: A North Carolina city will build a nearly 4-mile extension from its natural gas pipeline system to a planned steel manufacturing plant that’s receiving $19 million in state incentives. (Winston-Salem Journal)

COAL: A Kentucky municipal utility demolishes the stacks at a shuttered coal plant. (Messenger-Inquirer)

HYDROGEN: Experts and economic development officials brief an energy board on efforts to grow the hydrogen industry in southwestern Virginia. (Bristol Herald Courier)

BIOFUEL: An energy company begins construction of a Louisiana renewable diesel facility it promises will achieve “negative” carbon emissions. (Offshore Energy)

MINING: A Virginia mining workgroup finds the state’s current regulations aren’t equipped to handle commercial gold mining as a company prospects for gold in a rural county. (Farmville Herald)

• Republican officials in West Virginia, Texas, Louisiana, Florida and other states have withdrawn billions of dollars from global asset manager BlackRock because of its support for reaching net-zero emissions. (Vox)
• Two renewable energy companies sue the Texas comptroller’s office after it denied them more than $20 million in tax savings from a program set to expire soon. (Texas Tribune)

POLITICS: The U.S. Senate will vote on U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin’s bill to streamline energy permitting and authorize completion of the Mountain Valley Pipeline. (E&E News)

• Two Louisiana parish presidents call for Congress to pass legislation removing a cap on revenue sharing from offshore wind, oil and other energy development to benefit local hurricane protection and ecosystem restoration programs. (NOLA.com)
• West Virginia U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin is defying the will of the people in his mania to force completion of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, writes a columnist. (Creators)

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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.