CLIMATE: Six southwestern Virginia farmers grow specialty varieties of barley for state craft brewers as part of a regional economic development group’s program to spur off-season agriculture and limit shipping-related carbon emissions. (Energy News Network)

PIPELINES: Mountain Valley Pipeline developers ask federal regulators for another four years to finish construction of the over-budget, long-delayed project. (Roanoke Times)

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE: Low-income and Black residents in Louisiana’s “Cancer Alley” are receiving more federal attention for disproportionately bearing the brunt of pollution, but longtime advocates say they’re concerned that may not translate into concrete action. (

• Shale oil producers increasingly “re-frac” their existing wells to spur additional production at a fraction of the cost of drilling new wells. (Reuters)
• A huge shortage in refining capacity in the U.S. has exacerbated high gasoline prices, with a Louisiana refinery’s closure after Hurricane Ida and other refineries’ pandemic shutdowns partially to blame. (NPR)

• The U.S. EPA rejects an air pollution permit issued by Alabama regulators to an Alabama Power coal-fired plant, sending it back for revisions and more detailed explanations about how it will comply with environmental laws. (
• Records reveal a federal mine safety agency issued 175 citations in West Virginia for unhygienic coal mine conditions that could have contributed to the spread of COVID-19. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• A coal company owned by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s family agrees to pay $320 million to a Swiss bank to help settle an outstanding $850 million debt. (Charleston Gazette-Mail, Associated Press)

• Nissan partners with Tennessee power companies and universities to repurpose used EV batteries for a “second life” in a battery energy storage system. (Williamson Source)
• Arkansas is expected to receive $54 million to install electric vehicle chargers every 50 miles along its interstates. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)
• Volkswagen aims to hire 1,000 new employees at its Tennessee factory as it gears up to make electric vehicles. (Chattanooga Pulse)

SOLAR: A Virginia county plans changes to its zoning rules and comprehensive plan to accommodate growing interest in solar facilities. (Franklin News-Post)

UTILITIES: Georgia Power seeks a 12% rate hike over the next three years to strengthen its electric grid, add more renewable energy and improve customer service. (Capitol Beat News Service)

TRANSPORTATION: An effort to get seniors to feeding and socialization programs has grown into a full-sized regional public transit system across a largely rural area in southwestern Virginia. (Kingsport Times News)

FINANCE: An Oklahoma county’s clean energy financing program jumpstarts more than $80 million in energy efficiency, renewable and conservation projects that had been stalled for months or years. (The Oklahoman)

Duke Energy’s new 74.9 MW solar farm in Florida indicates the second-largest power company in the country is shifting from coal and nuclear electric generating plants toward solar, writes an editorial board. (Citrus County Chronicle)
• Three Appalachian women discuss why they became engaged to fight the Mountain Valley Pipeline in a long-running battle that has stretched to eight years. (Appalachian Voices)

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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.