SOLAR: While Michigan’s big utilities take it slow on solar, the municipal utility in Lansing is planning the largest solar project in the state. (Midwest Energy News)

RENEWABLES: The IRS makes it easier for renewable energy projects to qualify for tax credits. (Wall Street Journal)

***SPONSORED LINK: Support Solar in Illinois – Purchase a raffle ticket to win a Tesla Model S and Bosch Home Charger from the Illinois Solar Energy Association! Only 2,000 tickets will be sold.***

POLITICS: North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp says “my job is a sales job for coal,” but “with many of my [Democratic] colleagues, that is a big lift.” (Greenwire)

• After two years, a $1.5 million fine for pollution in North Dakota is still unpaid. (Associated Press)
• Minnesota officials meet to discuss oil train safety. (Forum News Service)
• A GAO report says the feds aren’t doing enough to protect groundwater near fracking sites. (Columbus Dispatch)
• A Nebraska Supreme Court decision on Keystone XL likely won’t be released until 2015. (Reuters)
• An Ohio State University Extension program helps shale boom communities avoid going bust. (Farm and Dairy)

WIND: More than 14,000 MW of new wind projects were under construction at midyear. (Transmission & Distribution World)

UTILITIES: Wisconsin Energy and Integrys begin filing applications for their proposed merger. (SNL)

FRAC SAND: Rail traffic is causing Amtrak delays in Wisconsin. (Madison Capital Times)

COAL ASH: Environmental groups call for increased water testing around an Indiana coal ash site. (Indiana Public Media)

CLIMATE: Scientists say algae blooms like the one that contaminated Toledo’s water supply will become more common as the climate warms. (Columbus Dispatch)

***SPONSORED LINK: The Illinois Renewable Energy Association will host the 13th annual Illinois Renewable Energy and Sustainable Lifestyle Fair on August 23 and 24 at the Ogle County Fairgrounds, Oregon, Illinois.***

MEDIA: A study finds climate contrarians are overrepresented in media coverage. (InsideClimate News)

COMMENTARY: Why the time is right for a cleantech revolution in the Midwest. (Energy Foundry)

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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