COAL: A Minnesota economic development board plans to restructure a $9.5 million loan it made years ago for Mesabi Energy Project, a proposed coal-to-gas plant that has yet to begin construction. (Duluth News Tribune)

EFFICIENCY: A closer look at how energy efficiency scores will be incorporated into Minnesota real estate listings. (Midwest Energy News)

***SPONSORED LINK: The Inspiring Efficiency Awards recognize Midwest leaders who deliver groundbreaking advancements in energy efficiency. Apply or provide a nomination today.***

OIL: The U.S. Justice Department and the state of Arkansas file a joint lawsuit against Exxon over the Mayflower pipeline spill. (Reuters)

FRAC SAND: Developers of a proposed frac sand facility voluntarily withdraw their permit and agree to alter their plans after facing strong public opposition at a Wisconsin town meeting. (Winona Daily News)

FRACKING: Local officials in Michigan raise questions about whether proper procedures and safeguards are in place after a drilling operation runs out of water and begins purchasing millions of gallons from nearby towns, more than 100 people pack a public forum on fracking in Michigan, and an Illinois landowner welcomes what could be the state’s first large-scale horizontal fracking operation. (Traverse City Record-Eagle,, AgriNews)

NATURAL GAS: Developers of a new natural gas plant near Toledo say it could eventually double in size if demand warrants. (Toledo Blade)

GRID: Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz says he’s developing a cybersecurity council within the Department of Energy to better protect against electronic threats to infrastructure. (The Hill)

CLIMATE: Although the proposal stands little chance of advancing, a Senate panel plans to take up a carbon tax bill later this summer. (The Hill)

WIND: An Oklahoma tribe objects to plans to grant a wind farm an incidental take permit for up to three bald eagle deaths per year. (Reuters)

WASTE-TO-ENERGY: A methane burner is now up and running at the wastewater treatment plant in Winona, Minnesota, part of the town’s broader effort to reduce energy consumption. (Winona Daily News)

BIOMASS: An Ohio company says “roasting” organic materials can produce a low-emission substitute for coal. (Crain’s Cleveland Business)

TRANSPORTATION: A study finds the lifetime costs of electric cars are comparable to their gasoline counterparts. (GreenTech Media)

ETHANOL: An industry-backed study says there is no direct link between the Renewable Fuel Standard and higher food prices. (Des Moines Register)

COMMENTARY: The high cost of coal gasification, and the coming U.S. distributed solar boom. (Forbes, GreenTech Media)

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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