POLITICS: An analysis finds a North Carolina senator “is now wed to the energy industry” with more than $1.7 million in contributions from fossil fuel and nuclear industry donors since 1994. (McClatchy)

• Duke Energy’s CEO sees coal eventually disappearing entirely from the utility’s energy mix. (Bloomberg)
• A major credit agency drops West Virginia’s rating, predicting “long-term headwinds” as the coal industry declines. (WV Metro News)

COAL ASH: A recent report from the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, directly contradicts proclamations from North Carolina officials on coal ash siting, and finds more than half of the state’s power plants are in zip codes with above-average poverty levels. (WFAE, NC Policy Watch)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: Analysts on both sides of the issue say the EPA came out ahead after legal arguments in a federal court this week. (ClimateWire)

UTILITIES: Walmart has been a major driver of an Alabama utility’s clean energy development. (AL.com)

• Virginia’s governor says his office doesn’t have the authority to stop natural gas pipelines in the state. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
• Georgia and South Carolina are becoming key battlegrounds for legal challenges over eminent domain. (National Law Review)

• Mississippi regulators approve a $3.7 million solar project. (WTVA)
• An institute in West Virginia is recognized for its efforts in training former coal miners to work in the solar industry. (Herald-Dispatch)
• Duke Energy is seeking approval for a new transmission line to connect a 40 MW solar array. (Electric Light & Power)

OIL AND GAS: Gulf Coast residents react to a new movie about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. (Northwest Florida Daily News)

BIOENERGY: A new study from North Carolina researchers warns of habitat loss from biofuel production. (Coastal Review Online)

EFFICIENCY: A Florida school district turns to a consultant to help cut its above-average energy consumption. (WJHG)

COMMENTARY:History will not be kind” to a Tennessee congresswoman who still claims the earth “is in a cooling trend.” (MSNBC)

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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