CLIMATE: Sen. Mitch McConnell introduces a bill to block new EPA carbon rules. (Reuters)

ALSO: Ohio’s EPA director calls new carbon rules “unnecessary federal mandates,” a new front is opened in Illinois’ fracking debate, and emissions reductions from power plant rules will be less than those from earlier regulations for vehicles. (Columbus Business First, Associated Press, Washington Post)

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TRANSMISSION: A new approach to acquiring transmission rights-of-way could offer both landowners and developers a better deal than eminent domain. (Midwest Energy News)

EFFICIENCY: The EPA’s cost projections for new carbon rules depend on aggressive energy savings; a consumer group says that in Indiana, “we kind of shot ourselves in the foot” by eliminating a state efficiency program ahead of EPA carbon rules; and an Ohio Republican says freezing the state’s energy efficiency standard will result in greater energy efficiency. (Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, Columbus Business First)

NATURAL GAS: The climate benefit of increased reliance on natural gas remains unclear. (New York Times)

COAL: Residents of a Chicago suburb want an investigation of their city’s contract with the Prairie State Energy Campus. (Chicago Tribune)

SOLAR: The U.S. imposes new tariffs on Chinese solar panels. (New York Times)

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UTILITIES: Xcel Energy sues the city of Boulder, Colorado over its vote to form a municipal utility. (Denver Business Journal)

COMMENTARY: New EPA rules could boost Michigan’s economy, while Ohio’s retreat from its clean energy laws will make compliance more difficult. (Battle Creek Enquirer, Toledo Blade)

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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