COAL: Federal regulators finally take a new wave of advanced black lung cases seriously with proposed rules to more tightly regulate coal miners’ exposure to silica dust, but the changes will come too late for many who have been dealing with the problem for decades. (Public Health Watch/Louisville Public Media, Mountain State Spotlight)

ALSO:
• Coal miner advocates encourage greater awareness of federal regulations that allow miners with occupational lung disease the right to be transferred to a low-dust environment without having their pay cut. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• A group of senior citizens pushes for Alabama Power to move coal ash from a power plant to a lined landfill to avoid contaminating Mobile Bay. (NPR)
• An author discusses how Appalachian communities in eastern Kentucky are increasingly relying on prisons to replace jobs lost in the declining coal economy. (Inside Climate News)

CLIMATE:
• After Hurricane Ida becomes the eighth major hurricane to hit the U.S. Gulf Coast in the last six years, some experts question whether it’s worth rebuilding in certain places in the region. (CNN)
• At least five large U.S. property insurers tell regulators they plan to cut back on coverage along Southeast coastlines and other regions prone to extreme weather exacerbated by climate change. (Washington Post)
• Hedge funds, pension plans and the ultrarich increasingly invest in “catastrophe bonds” that transform the risk of multibillion-dollar natural disasters into securities that pay off for investors. (Washington Post)
• A group of Tennessee residents wants a ballot measure to undo Chattanooga’s climate action plan. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)
• Alabama’s state climatologist has been criticized by his colleagues but embraced by political conservatives for his denial of climate change. (WBHM)

TRANSITION: Arkansas utilities are building new solar plants to replace 3,500 MW of coal-fired power that will be retired in the next several years, though some electric cooperatives are wary of committing too readily to intermittent power. (Arkansas Business)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Automakers are transforming the rural Southeast’s manufacturing economy by pouring around half of their $110 billion in electric vehicle-related investments since 2018 into Southern states. (Daily Mail)

GRID: Documents reveal the nuts and bolts of Dominion Energy’s plans to build out the power grid and keep fossil fuel-fired power plants running longer than Virginia lawmakers would like to accommodate the state’s growing data center sector. (Richmond Times-Dispatch, WRIC)

OIL & GAS:
• Residents and county officials in Tennessee push back against the Tennessee Valley Authority’s plans to build a natural gas-fired power plant there. (WZTV)
• South Carolina’s state-owned Santee Cooper seeks regulatory approval to buy a 98 MW natural-gas fired power plant. (Charleston Post & Courier)

NUCLEAR: A pair of long-running nuclear energy companies in central Virginia may give the region a leg up as officials reconsider nuclear energy. (Lynchburg News & Advance)

POLITICS: Residents and Virginia Tech students protest Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s moves to withdraw the state from a regional carbon market. (Collegiate Times)

COMMENTARY:
• Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s veto of seed money to unlock nearly $400 million in federal funding for energy-efficient upgrades is “both inexplicable and inexcusable,” writes an editorial board. (Citrus County Chronicle)
Dominion Energy’s plan to continue to rely on fossil fuels regardless of cost seems to be a bid to please Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, writes an energy columnist. (Virginia Mercury)

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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.