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WISCONSIN: A leading Tea Party activist will be in Wisconsin next week to advocate for solar power and other distributed renewable energy. (Midwest Energy News)

***SPONSORED LINK: Midwest Energy Policy Conference 2014 — Get the early-bird discount now for the Midwest Energy Policy Conference on Sep. 30-Oct. 1 in St. Louis!***

OIL: A Coast Guard commander says emergency responders are not prepared for a major oil spill in the Great Lakes, and Statoit is expanding a project to capture natural gas in North Dakota’s oil patch. (Detroit Free Press, Associated Press)

FRACKING: A Yale study finds people living near gas wells are twice as likely to experience respiratory and skin problems, a former Ohio steel mill will become a logistics hub for drilling operations, and industry groups will seek changes to Illinois’ proposed fracking regulations. (USA Today, Columbus Business First, Associated Press)

POLITICS: A former Murray Energy foreman sues the company, saying she was fired for not making political contributions to the CEO’s preferred candidates. (Charleston Gazette)

EPA: A letter from 15 Republican governors claims proposed EPA carbon restrictions would violate federal law, and a judge rules a former EPA official can’t testify on behalf of a utility in a Missouri pollution case. (The Hill)

COAL: Peabody Energy’s CEO explains how to improve coal’s image. (Wall Street Journal)

SOLAR: When accounting for small projects, new solar capacity outpaced natural gas in the first half of 2014; and a Cedar Rapids apartment building claims the largest multi-tenant solar project in the Midwest. (Greentech Media, KGAN)

NUCLEAR: Nuclear opponents call for a formal hearing over cracks in the concrete structure at Ohio’s Davis-Besse plant. (Toledo Blade)

BIOFUEL: The University of Iowa experiments with a tropical tallgrass as a biofuel stock. (Iowa City Press-Citizen)

SMART METERS: An Illinois utility is keeping consumer energy data locked down until regulators clarify how it can be used. (Chicago Tribune)

SECURITY: Experts say it’s extremely unlikely that hackers could cause sustained outages on the U.S. grid. (Politico)

***SPONSORED LINK: On Oct.29, experts will converge on Madison, Wisconsin to discuss the energy, water and food challenges created by growing cities. Hosted by the Wisconsin Energy Institute. Register before Oct. 1 and save 20%.***

WIND: Wind turbines at an Ohio Honda plant are producing more energy than expected. (Bellefontaine Examiner)

COMMENTARY: A legal challenge could be Republicans’ best shot at derailing EPA carbon rules. (The New Republic)

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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