SOLAR: A Virginia county unanimously approves the development of 186 solar-powered apartments at an abandoned hotel site. (WRIC)

• A Virginia county planning board votes unanimously to recommend against a 20 MW solar farm after more than two dozen residents speak against the proposal. (Roanoke Times)
• A Virginia county board grants the first round of approvals for construction of a solar farm. (WVIR)
• An energy company completes financing of a 250 MW Arkansas solar farm that Entergy will take over once it begins operation. (Renewables Now)

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• A Canadian company announces it will open a Louisiana plant to process rare earth oxides required to make electric vehicle motors. (The Advocate)
• An Australian mining company considers a Louisiana parish for a $480 million plant to manufacture a critical electric vehicle battery component. (
• A Chinese electric vehicle battery maker has expanded its international investments to become an indispensable part of the global electrification drive, including the 2020 purchase of a factory in Kentucky (Bloomberg)

EFFICIENCY: North Carolina officials battle over energy efficiency standards and building codes, with the homebuilding industry resisting changes and pushing legislation to delay any new efficiency code updates until 2031. (WFAE)

GRID: Virginia regulators withdraw a proposed variance to suspend short-term air emission limits and let data centers use backup generators when the power grid is strained. (Virginia Mercury)

COAL:  The U.S. EPA proposes new coal plant wastewater standards that experts say could hasten the closure of more coal-fired power plants. (Energy News Network)

• U.S. lawmakers pursuing tough-on-China bills have largely turned a blind eye to liquefied natural gas exporters that are relying on Chinese contracts to secure financing for new export terminals. (Politico)
• An oil company leader predicts oil and gas production in the Permian Basin will continue to grow and offset declines in other regions. (Reuters)

HYDROGEN: Local, state and federal officials join more than 40 companies in the natural gas, energy, and manufacturing sectors to submit an application to federal officials for a hydrogen hub in Appalachia. (Parkersburg News and Sentinel)

UTILITIES: Texas lawmakers advance bills to streamline the process for electric utilities to seek more frequent rate hikes. (Houston Chronicle) 

CLIMATE: A Virginia city council delays voting on a federal project to build 8 miles of new or expanded floodwalls to gather more public input after residents object to parts of the plan that leave out historically Black neighborhoods. (Virginian-Pilot)

POLITICS: A Tennessee lawmaker receiving national attention after Tennessee lawmakers expelled him and another legislator for protesting weak gun laws cut his teeth in the successful fight to block the Byhalia Connection crude oil pipeline in Memphis. (E&E News)

• Even though fossil fuels still account for the largest percentage of U.S. electricity generation, the growth of renewables and the electric vehicle industry signal progress in the clean energy transition, writes an editorial board. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)
• Tax credits meant to direct clean energy companies to coal-producing regions are written to include some rural communities far from coal country — including a Virginia megasite contending for electric vehicle battery factories, writes an editor. (Cardinal News)

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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.