UTILITIES: Leaked records show a political consulting firm working for Florida Power & Light purchased a controlling stake in a media outlet and let utility executives review and influence coverage; an FPL spokesperson says the documents were “doctored.” (Orlando Sentinel)

ALSO: Entergy New Orleans announces a temporary moratorium on shut-offs for customers behind on skyrocketing summer bills. (WVUE)

• A joint venture of General Motors and South Korean battery maker LG Energy Solutions will likely receive a $2.5 billion federal loan to finance a battery-pack gigafactory in Tennessee and two in the Midwest. (E&E News, Canary Media)
• A North Carolina–based energy storage firm raised $100 million this month, suggesting strong investor support for battery development even in a weakening economy. (Canary Media)

• A Vietnamese automaker’s planned $2 billion electric vehicle factory in North Carolina gives it a competitive advantage against state-owned EV companies in Southeast Asia by placing it closer to demand in the U.S. (The Diplomat)
• Georgia’s $1.8 billion incentive package for a Hyundai plant tops the $1.5 billion it’s awarding Rivian, making it the largest such package in state history. (CoStar News)
North Carolina’s gas tax revenue is declining as residents adopt vehicles with better mileage and electric vehicles. (Wilmington Star-News)

SOLAR: Florida and Texas each employ more than 10,000 solar workers in an industry that grew 9% last year. (Reuters)

CLIMATE: Insurance companies are going out of business or refusing to cover Louisiana’s coastal areas after two major hurricane strikes in the last two years. (NPR)

• Proponents and opponents of the long-delayed, over-budget Mountain Valley Pipeline weigh in on its request for four more years to finish construction. (WBDJ)
• An energy infrastructure company asks federal regulators for three more months to finish construction of a Louisiana natural gas pipeline because of a delay in placing a compressor station. (S&P Global)

• Appalachian Power asks West Virginia officials to consider securitization of its coal-fired power plants as a way to reduce costs while protecting ratepayers. (Charleston Gazette-Mail, subscription)
Coal producers tell West Virginia lawmakers poor rail service has constrained them from producing more coal to meet high demand. (West Virginia Public Broadcasting)
• Federal health officials offer free, confidential black lung screenings today and tomorrow in West Virginia for coal miners exposed to coal or silica dust. (Times West Virginian)

POLITICS: A pair of billionaire oil and fracking magnates in Texas are quietly funding some of the state’s most radical conservative political candidates in a push to reshape public education. (CNN, Chron)

• A Southeast opinion writer considers how to talk about extreme weather with climate change-denying relatives. (New York Times)
• An energy writer cites how wind generation often falls in Texas at the same moments when power demand rises to argue the state grid has become too reliant on weather-dependent renewables. (RealClear Energy)
• An author condemns the U.S. Supreme Court for limiting the EPA’s ability to regulate power plant emissions and praises a Kentucky city council for committing to using 100% clean energy by 2040. (Louisville Courier-Journal)

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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.