FRACKING: With thousands of leases signed, fracking is poised to take off in Illinois, and state lawmakers hope to develop a regulatory framework when they meet later this month. (Midwest Energy News)

CLIMATE: Global CO2 concentrations reach a record level, the CIA’s climate center is shut down, and Iowa scientists warn this year’s drought is a sign of things to come. (Climate Central, Greenwire, Reuters)

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WIND: A Republican consultant launches the Red State Wind Alliance, a conservative effort to promote wind energy. (EarthTechling)

OIL: Some environmental groups remain confident President Obama will reject the Keystone XL pipeline. (InsideClimate News)

COAL: Why the White House may soften proposed coal ash regulations. (Forbes)

UTILITIES: American Electric Power has new competition in central Ohio, and We Energies seeks to recover $34 million in legal fees from Wisconsin ratepayers. (Columbus Dispatch, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

AGGREGATION: An effort to purchase 100 percent renewable power for Normal, Illinois, may face resistance if it isn’t cost-competitive with other options. (Bloomington Pantagraph)

TRANSPORTATION: Chicago purchases a fleet of electric garbage trucks. (

COMMENTARY: Why state renewable energy standards may no longer be enough to drive a rapidly growing industry, and ten reasons a carbon tax isn’t a climate panacea. (NREL, Grist)

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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