WIND: Xcel announces it will add 600 MW of new wind capacity in Minnesota and North Dakota, increasing its wind footprint in the region by one-third, and South Dakota landowners announce plans for a community-owned wind project that would double that state’s capacity. (Minneapolis Star Tribune, Sioux Falls Argus Leader)

SOLAR: A Wisconsin town is testing legal waters with a first-of-its-kind agreement with a solar company. (Midwest Energy News)

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EPA: The Senate is expected to vote today to confirm Gina McCarthy to lead the U.S. EPA, but the vote could turn into a sideshow over the filibuster. (E&E Daily)

ALSO: Republican attorneys general from 12 states are suing the EPA, claiming the agency is conspiring with environmental groups. (The Hill)

FRAC SAND: A sand taconite mine in Wisconsin is hiring armed, masked militiamen to patrol the property for “eco-terrorists.” (Mother Jones)

OIL: A North Dakota county rejects an oil-field waste landfill, and a AAA official tells the Senate that sub-$3 gasoline is “probably a thing of the past.” (Bismarck Tribune, The Hill)

TRANSPORTATION: Support grows for a high-speed rail connection between Chicago and Columbus, Ohio. (Columbus Dispatch)

WATER: Another report highlights the risks power plants face from potential water shortages. (Toledo Blade)

NUCLEAR: Michigan’s Palisades nuclear plant has had two more leaks since being shut down for a month earlier this year for repairs. (

COMMENTARY: Why news agency Reuters is turning its back on climate coverage. (The Baron)

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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