ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Volkswagen begins production of its first U.S.-made electric vehicles at its Tennessee plant. (Associated Press)

ALSO: A Korean company announces it will invest $95 million to build a Tennessee factory to make electrolytes for the electric vehicle battery industry. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)

POLITICS:
• U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia finally reaches agreement with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on a spending package with $369 billion for climate change and clean energy, including billions in home energy rebates and tax credits for electric vehicles. (Washington Post, Politico)
• Hundreds of pages of internal documents show how a political consulting firm secretly worked to help Florida Power & Light and other power companies protect their profits and fight the clean energy transition. (Floodlight/Orlando Sentinel)

SOLAR: A Virginia city delays signing off on a revised power purchase agreement with higher costs from a solar project on a former golf course. (Martinsville Bulletin)

OVERSIGHT:
• President Biden nominates an Alabama lawyer and former chair of the Tennessee Valley Authority board to serve as TVA director once again. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)
• North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper appoints a lawyer and longtime clean energy advocate to oversee the state’s emissions reduction and environmental justice efforts. (WFAE)

EMISSIONS:
• Hundreds of methane “super emitters” in the Permian Basin continue to spew unregulated greenhouse gas emissions a year after they were detected by an aerial survey. (Associated Press)
• Louisiana State University researchers receive a grant to study ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions produced when using natural gas in energy and chemical production. (Greater Baton Rouge Business Report)

TRANSITION: Texas regulators consider an energy company’s $70 million plan to convert a coal-fired power plant to natural gas. (KFDA)

GRID: Residents and city leaders in a North Carolina city criticize a Duke Energy proposal to rebuild a power substation over concerns about the loss of trees and the neighborhood’s character. (Asheville Citizen-Times)

UTILITIES:
• Louisiana regulators question representatives from Entergy and other power companies about reducing power bills and investing in more renewables. (KTBS)
• AARP’s Oklahoma chapter asks state regulators to enact a moratorium on utility rate increases. (Journal Record)
• A Florida utility temporarily suspends electric and water disconnections for customers with balances of less than $500. (WCJB)

OIL & GAS: A Texas gas company builds a 24-mile pipeline to extend natural gas service to more residential and business customers. (DailyTrib.com)

COAL ASH: A federal appeals court dismisses a longstanding challenge to the U.S. EPA’s approval of Oklahoma’s coal ash disposal program, saying the advocacy groups bringing the suit lack standing. (Bloomberg Law, subscription; news release)

STORAGE:
• A Tennessee solar installer pivots to energy storage and microgrid installation after realizing state solar incentives were set to expire. (Solar Power World)
• Appalachian Power issues a request for proposals for 7.5 MW in battery storage on a rural Virginia circuit. (Cardinal News)

COMMENTARY:
• A Texas editorial board endorses federal legislation to assist fossil fuel-dependent communities in Appalachia and the Texas oilfields in the transition to cleaner energy. (Houston Chronicle)
• A community organizer calls for Florida to make the shift from diesel to electric school buses. (Orlando Sentinel)

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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.