OVERSIGHT: After winning control of both of Virginia’s state legislative chambers, Democrats move to fill two long-running vacancies on the powerful, three-member state board that regulates utilities and other businesses. (Virginia Mercury)

ALSO: Louisiana Governor-elect Jeff Landry appoints a former Trump administration official who fought to roll back limits on fossil fuels to lead the state’s environmental agency, signaling further state support for the petrochemical industry. (E&E News, subscription)

BIOMASS: The world’s largest wood pellet maker, which operates plants across North Carolina and the Southeast, is rocked by severe financial trouble that could lead to bankruptcy. (Wilmington StarNews)




OIL & GAS: The Tennessee Valley Authority proposes building a new 500 MW natural gas-fired power plant at a Mississippi site where a private operator had previously operated a gas plant. (Power Engineering)



UTILITIES: Kentucky Power reduces its requested rate increase but still faces criticism from Kentucky residents and elected officials for putting an additional financial burden on communities still recovering from 2022’s floods. (Kentucky Lantern)

COMMENTARY: New research shows that most West Virginians leaving fossil fuel jobs do not find new employment in the green economy, largely because Appalachia has fewer wind and solar jobs than places like Texas, writes a talk radio host. (WV Metro News)

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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.