BUILDINGS: North Carolina developers say a proposal to bring the state more in line with the rest of the country on building energy efficiency would make homes less affordable, but numerous experts say the rules would immediately save new homeowners money and have little impact on prices. (Vxartnews)

CLEAN ENERGY: Recent federal clean energy incentives have helped spur $45 billion in private investments for solar, electric vehicle and battery projects in Georgia and Tennessee. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)


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EMISSIONS:
• Texas petrochemical plants spewed tons of excess pollution during Hurricane Laura in 2020, showing how natural disasters and other malfunctions cause facilities to emit far more than what their permits allow. (Grist)
• Virginia climate activists decry a state board’s vote to withdraw from a regional carbon market, saying it undermines the state’s flood mitigation efforts and oversteps the board’s authority. (WVEC)
• Texas regulators consider tighter air pollution limits for concrete plants, but critics say the proposed changes don’t do enough to protect nearby residents. (Texas Tribune)
• Texas sues the U.S. EPA over its plan to reduce smog-causing ozone emissions that cross state lines, while West Virginia Congress members file legislation to block it. (San Antonio Current; Bloomberg Law, subscription)

SOLAR:
• Duke Energy builds a floating solar farm on two acres of a 1,200-acre Florida pond. (WTVT)
• A Virginia county considers a poultry farm’s request to add solar panels on four acres. (Bristol Herald Courier)

PIPELINES: West Virginia residents see continued disruption from land slips and restoration efforts along the Mountaineer XPress Pipeline years after it was put into service, and predict similar troubles for the Mountain Valley Pipeline. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

CLIMATE: Federal projections show the cost of insurance likely doubled in Kentucky communities ravaged by flooding last summer, prompting the state to join a lawsuit against a federal agency over its methodology. (Lexington Herald-Leader)

GRID: Experts say demand on the Texas state power grid will peak later this week if a heat wave persists. (KXAN)

POLITICS: Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt aggressively courted solar panel and electric vehicle battery factories even while trumpeting a new law blocking state contracts with banks considered hostile to the oil and natural gas industries. (Tulsa World)

BIOMASS: Georgia regulators reverse an earlier decision to allow biomass plants to burn scrap tires but leave the door open to revisit the question. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

TRANSITION: Kentucky, West Virginia and seven other states send delegations to southwestern Virginia to discuss economic diversification strategies for coal-reliant communities. (Cardinal News)

UTILITIES: The Tennessee Valley Authority looks to sell its office complex in Chattanooga, Tennessee, after the pandemic shift to remote and hybrid work winnows its need for office space. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)

COMMENTARY:
• Fossil fuels still hold sway in West Virginia, as evidenced by lawmakers’ efforts to prop up coal plants and advance the Mountain Valley Pipeline, writes a retired federal employee. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• A West Virginia Congress member touts her bill to offer a tax credit for capturing methane released in coal mines. (Inter-Mountain)
• A finance company explains how it can quickly provide needed capital to energy firms. (Raistone, sponsored)

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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.