Southeast Energy News is one of five regional services published by the Energy News Network. Today’s edition was compiled by Mason Adams.

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EFFICIENCY: A Northern Virginia church is on its way to becoming the first net-zero campus in Virginia by reaching peak energy efficiency in all 33,000 square feet of its sanctuary and two other buildings. (Energy News Network)

WIND: A 998 MW, 356-turbine wind farm opens in Oklahoma, becoming the largest wind facility ever built in a single phase in North America. (Journal Record)

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SOLAR: A Virginia company specializes in using federal opportunity zones and related tax advantages to install solar for local businesses and nonprofits in economically distressed neighborhoods. (WTKR)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• The Tennessee Valley Authority’s CEO hails the growth of electric vehicles in Tennessee and pledges more infrastructure to support EV manufacturing. (WKRN)
• U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin comes under fire for criticism of electric vehicles that experts say demonstrates either ignorance or willful misinformation about how they work. (Common Dreams)

UTILITIES:
• Memphis, Tennessee’s city council appoints two members to its municipal utility board and squabbles over whether to hire its own consultant to oversee consideration of 27 bids to supply the city power as it explores breaking from the Tennessee Valley Authority. (Commercial Appeal)
• A company that is purchasing Kentucky Power from American Electric Power says it plans to lower rates for customers. (Appalachian News-Express)

OIL & GAS:
• The EPA warns that a shuttered U.S. Virgin Islands oil refinery that released toxic emissions last year might need a new Clean Air Act permit, which could significantly delay plans to reopen. (E&E News)
• Two Oklahomans develop a new method to seal abandoned oil and gas wells. (News 9)
• The president of the Texas Oil & Gas Association says he doesn’t expect prices to decrease any time soon and calls for a shift in federal policy. (KLTV)
• Texas natural gas customers see their bills skyrocket after a company increases fees to compensate for a milder winter. (KPRC)

BIOGAS: North Carolina environmental regulators schedule hearings on draft permits for digester systems that collect and process gas from animal waste for energy. (Coastal Review)

COAL:
• A Texas company is among numerous coal operators exploring carbon capture and investing in geothermal, solar and wind to expand beyond coal. (S&P Global)
• Crews retrieve the body of a Kentucky coal miner who was killed in a roof collapse more than 2 miles underground. (Louisville Courier Journal)

TRANSPORTATION: North Carolina considers suspending its gas tax, which at 39 cents per gallon is higher than any of its neighboring states. (Winston-Salem Journal)

GRID:
• A tornado strikes New Orleans, killing one person and knocking out power to more than 16,000. (Washington Post, NOLA.com)
More than eight thousand in Arkansas lose power in a rainstorm, although most have been restored. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

POLITICS: A Tennessee bill to prevent local governments from regulating fossil fuel infrastructure is delayed a week over growing controversy and opposition from environmental advocates. (Tennessee Lookout)

COMMENTARY:
• A lawyer returning to Tennessee calls on the state to develop a renewable energy standard. (Tennessean)
• U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin should abandon his support for the stalled Mountain Valley Pipeline as a route to U.S. energy independence and look instead to renewables, writes the president of a West Virginia watershed group. (Beckley Register-Herald)

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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.