CLIMATE: In a record year for displacements, climate-related disasters in 2022 forced more people in the Southeast to evacuate than anywhere in the U.S., with Louisiana and Florida seeing the most relocations. (E&E News)

ALSO: American climate migrants flee Florida, North Carolina and other disaster-prone areas even while more prosperous White residents receive the benefit of climate resilience projects. (American Prospect)

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GRID:
• Nearly 20,000 customers in Austin, Texas, still have no electricity nearly a week after a deadly ice storm brought down power lines across the city. (Associated Press)
• An expert says outages in Texas caused by last week’s winter storm point to the need for more intensive tree-trimming by utilities as well as additional reforms to the state power grid. (Houston Public Media)
• Federal officials arrest an Orlando, Florida, man who founded a neo-Nazi group and a Maryland woman for planning to attack electrical substations in Baltimore. (Orlando Sentinel)

SOLAR:
• A solar developer seeks a Virginia county’s approval to build a 50 MW solar farm on a former titanium mine with a history of heavy industrial pollution. (Lynchburg News & Advance)
• The Tennessee head of a regional clean energy group touts his energy savings by using solar panels and taking his house off the grid during peak demand to receive a local utility’s time-of-use incentives. (WBIR)
• A Texas solar installer hails tax credits passed by Congress last year that can trim the final cost of solar panel installation by thousands. (Victoria Advocate)

OIL & GAS:
• Student activists push the University of Texas to cut its ties to oil and gas, which have swelled a $42 billion endowment that’s second only to Harvard’s. (Daily Texan)
• A Louisiana professor floats a plan to convert orphan oil and gas wells to carbon-neutral production wells through a process that sequesters the flue gas. (news release)

STORAGE: A coalition of western Kentucky economic development groups pitches the region as a prime location for industrial prospects who want to be near electric vehicle battery production centers in Kentucky and Tennessee. (Murray Ledger & Times)

EMISSIONS: North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper releases an analysis outlining the state’s possible pathways to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, but elected officials, environments and industry still debate the question. (Spectrum News)

UTILITIES: A federal judge dismisses a lawsuit by environmental groups challenging the Tennessee Valley Authority’s use of 20-year contracts to lock in local power distributors. (Associated Press)

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POLITICS:
• Virginia lawmakers continue to adjust a utility reform bill in conjunction with the date Dominion Energy expects to complete its offshore wind farm. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
• A Virginia lawmaker wants to break a deadlock over appointing officials to the state’s utility regulatory board with a bill to temporarily create a fourth seat on the commission. (Virginia Mercury)
Dueling Virginia budget proposals include provisions for transforming former coal mines into solar farms and building out offshore wind infrastructure. (Cardinal News)

COMMENTARY: Virginia’s divided government, room for gas industry growth and local carbon-neutrality pledges make the state an attractive target for conservatives pushing gas stoves as a wedge issue, 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.