EPA: “Failure is not an option” as the EPA works to draft carbon rules for power plants. (New York Times)

MEANWHILE: Warning of “massive blackouts,” Sen. James Inhofe says he’ll introduce a bill allowing states to opt out of power plant regulations. (The Hill)

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PROPANE: Midwest governors seek federal assistance to deal with propane shortages, as high prices generate interest in alternative heating systems. (CBS Detroit, Midwest Energy News)

OIL: Federal regulators fine three companies for mislabeling North Dakota crude oil, a leaking rail car spills 12,000 gallons of oil along 70 miles of tracks in Minnesota, and recent oil-by-rail disasters prompt states to update their emergency plans. (Reuters, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Bloomberg)

FARM BILL: The U.S. Senate passes the farm bill, which includes $881 million for rural energy programs. (Des Moines Register, Agriculture Energy Coalition news release)

COAL: A GAO report finds lack of bidding on federal coal leases has cost taxpayers as much as $200 million. (Associated Press)

KEYSTONE XL: A bipartisan coalition voices its support for Keystone XL, as senators seek options to force approval of the pipeline. (Associated Press, The Hill)

POLITICS: Monte Shaw, the executive director of the [Iowa] Renewable Fuels Association, is running for Congress. (Des Moines Register)

UTILITIES: At a Chicago event, panelists call for a regulatory solution to the “utility death spiral.” (Forbes)

GRID: A Minnesota energy-storage company goes out of business, and Indiana Michigan Power announces plans for $500 million in grid upgrades. (Brainerd Dispatch, Fort Wayne News-Sentinel)

FRACKING: Environmental groups fight an Ohio company’s plan to dispose of radioactive drilling waste in landfills, and a Texas company proposes a new pipeline to move natural gas from Ohio to the Gulf Coast. (Marietta Times, Reuters)

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TRANSPORTATION: The chair of the House transportation committee says he prefers a mileage tax to increasing the gasoline tax. (Bloomberg)

COMMENTARY: Why politicizing renewable energy threatens U.S. security. (Roll Call)

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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