CLIMATE: The White House announces that 81 major U.S. companies – including McDonald’s, Cargill, IBM and others – have now committed to significant carbon reductions. (New York Times)

CANADA: How yesterday’s Canadian election could change the politics around Keystone XL in the U.S. and climate change more broadly. (Politico, Foreign Policy)

UTILITIES: As conservation and solar energy cut ratepayers’ usage, electric utilities turn to fees for fresh revenue, riling consumer advocates. (Wall Street Journal)

NUCLEAR: Closure of the Pilgrim nuclear plant could drive up carbon emissions in New England. (Associated Press)

COAL: A consultant warns divesting California’s largest pension fund from coal could cost between $4 billion and $8 billion. (Reuters)

DEMAND RESPONSE: Advocates are starting a pilot program in Chicago that seeks to bundle demand response and distributed energy resources to establish a clean-energy portfolio that is more valuable than its individual parts. (EnergyWire)

• A Montana utility experiments with a battery-backed solar installation as a means to improve reliability in rural areas. (Montana Standard)
• A study warns large desert solar farms could have ecological consequences. (Climate Central)
• A California school district will be among the first in the nation to get most of its electricity from solar panels backed by battery storage – an arrangement one solar expert expects to become more common. (InsideClimate News)

WIND: Consumers-product giant Proctor & Gamble commits to run all of its North American plants on wind power. (New York Times)

POLLUTION: A new tactic being taken by green groups over what they say is the Obama administration’s weak ozone rule is that it’s not as strong as a similar Bush-era regulation. (Greenwire)

GRID: The U.S. Supreme Court will hear another case this term that hits on similar jurisdictional issues between states and FERC, this time over providing incentives for new generation. (Greenwire)

HYDRO: Supporters of expanding hydropower push for a faster federal permitting process. (The Hill)

Oklahoma regulators are taking further action to limit wastewater disposal wells after another rash of earthquakes. (The Oklahoman)
North Dakota will end a program allowing farmers to sell their irrigation water for fracking. (Grand Forks Herald)
A new study says abandoned oil and gas wells near existing fracking sites can act as a conduit for more methane releases that aren’t being measured. (

TRANSPORTATION: When gasoline prices are low, U.S. consumers buy more and at higher grades. (New York Times)

TECHNOLOGY: A California company unveils a system that helps air conditioners run more efficiently by using solar power to freeze water for use the following day. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Ken is the director of the Energy News Network at Fresh Energy and is a founding editor of both Midwest Energy News and Southeast Energy News. Prior to joining Fresh Energy, he was the managing editor for online news at Minnesota Public Radio. He started his journalism career in 2002 as a copy editor for the Duluth News Tribune before spending five years at the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, where he worked as a copy editor, online producer, features editor and night city editor. A Nebraska native, Ken has a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master's degree from the University of Oregon. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors.

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