COAL: A West Virginia county official says a company has signed a purchase agreement to acquire a coal-fired power plant slated for closure and convert it into a hydrogen facility. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

ALSO:
Kentucky’s coal communities are torn between the past and future as Republican lawmakers seek to bolster the sagging industry while experts call for a transition to a more sustainable economy. (Louisville Public Media)
• Disclosure forms reveal that influential West Virginia U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin earned $476,000 from his family coal company in 2022. (Ohio Capitol Journal)

OIL & GAS:
• Oklahoma’s attorney general says he’ll pursue legal action against companies that profited from a spike in natural gas prices that surged from $3 to $1200 per unit during 2021’s Winter Storm Uri. (Public Radio Tulsa)
• Grid operator PJM reveals that 70% of unplanned outages during December’s cold snap stemmed from natural gas-fired power plants going offline. (Utility Dive)
• Companies build new natural gas processing plants in the Permian Basin to accommodate the region’s growing production. (Carlsbad Current Argus)

COAL ASH: Scientists express alarm and concern when they learn a Tennessee playground was not just built on coal ash but sits in proximity to a coal pile and fly ash disposal site. (Knoxville News Sentinel)

EMISSIONS:
• A Texas natural gas company agrees to pay $1.3 million and implement new pollution control measures after it was cited by the U.S. EPA for excess emissions of methane and volatile organic compounds. (Texas Tribune)
• Texas state records reveal that more than 300 tons of greenhouse gases were released in June because of the heat wave and failures in gas supply infrastructure. (Texas Tribune)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Volkswagen investigates wireless car charging at its Tennessee research facility. (Green Car Reports)
• Electric vehicle maker Canoo delivers crew transport vehicles to Florida’s Kennedy Space Center that will take astronauts to the launch pad ahead of a 10-day mission around the moon. (Florida Today)

UTILITIES: Arkansas regulators negotiate with a natural gas utility over its plans to resume charging late fees and disconnecting what will likely be more than 40,000 customers for nonpayment. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

CLIMATE:
• A study finds government-funded cooling centers in Virginia are concentrated largely in urban areas, with only a few sprinkled in rural parts of the state. (Virginia Mercury)
• Ocean temperatures around Florida have risen 5 degrees this month, prompting concerns about worsening hurricanes and damage to coral reefs. (WLRN)

GRID: More than 112,000 Tennessee homes and businesses were still without power last night after lightning storms knocked out Tennessee Valley Authority transmission infrastructure. (WHBQ)

COMMENTARY:
• Florida leaders must take action to address extreme weather, rising insurance rates and security risks exacerbated by climate change, writes the director of an environmental group. (Palm Beach Post)
• Coastal Virginia’s central location and steady progress on construction of an offshore wind farm and related suppliers positions the state to become a coastal hub for wind energy, writes an editorial board. (Virginian-Pilot)

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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.