CLEAN POWER PLAN: New Jersey is the latest state to announce it will challenge the Clean Power Plan. (

• The White House announces a $4 million plan to boost renewable energy development in rural Alaska. (Washington Post)
• Aspen, Colorado becomes the third U.S. city to run on 100 percent renewable energy. (Aspen Times)

• Ohio’s renewable and efficiency freeze sent “exactly the wrong message to small businesses and entrepreneurs at a time when the economy was struggling.” (Midwest Energy News)
How moderate Democrats may be turning the tide in California’s legislature when it comes to climate policy. (Los Angeles Times)

• A motion by an environmental group says New Mexico regulators are too “chummy” with utility executives. (Albuquerque Journal)
• A legal complaint seeks the removal of Arizona’s top utility regulator, accusing her of conflicts of interest. (Arizona Republic)

ELECTRIC CARS: Elon Musk says the Tesla Model 3, which is expected to cost $35,000, will be unveiled in March. (CNBC)

• California passes a bill requiring the state’s pension funds to divest from coal. (The Guardian)
• An analysis finds 10 percent of U.S. coal in the last quarter was produced by companies in bankruptcy. (SNL)
• A study finds radioactivity levels in coal ash may be 10 times higher than in coal itself. (ClimateProgress)

• Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz says the U.S. solar industry would continue to grow without the current 30% investment tax credit that companies want extended beyond 2016. (PV Magazine)
• Solar companies say they will stay out of Arizona regulatory elections if utilities do the same. (Arizona Republic)

• Residents push back against a proposed wind farm near the scenic Hill Country of central Texas. (Dallas Morning News)
• A settlement will end a lawsuit over a proposed Colorado wind farm. (Colorado Springs Gazette)
• Alaska’s wind capacity increased 20-fold between 2007 and 2014, but still only provides 3 percent of the state’s electricity. (Yale E360)

GRID: The U.S. deployed 40 MW of grid-scale energy storage in the second quarter of 2015, a ninefold increase over last year. (Greentech Media)

• South Carolina officials approve $700 million in cost overruns for two new nuclear reactors. (Reuters)
• A new study says a sweeping retirement of nuclear power reactors would make it “extremely difficult if not impossible” for the Clean Power Plan to succeed. (Greentech Media)
Federal inspectors are increasing oversight of a Massachusetts nuclear plant. (Associated Press)

• Texas regulators reject findings that a wastewater disposal well is to blame for a string of earthquakes. (Ft. Worth Star-Telegram)
• A survey finds major U.S. cities are ill-prepared for a major oil train derailment. (Associated Press)
• Researchers say the documentary film “Gasland” is a key driver of fracking opposition in the U.S. (The Guardian)

BIOFUELS: United Airlines will begin operating some U.S. flights on biofuel derived in part from agricultural waste. (Fast Company)

CALIFORNIA: The state’s drought means higher demand for electricity as farmers pump more groundwater to irrigate crops. (Bloomberg)

• How utilities can use their retirees on the front lines of their fight against rooftop solar. (Intelligent Utility)
• Advocates throughout the West want the feds to “stop subsidizing the profits of coal companies on the backs of taxpayers.” (Huffington Post)

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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