COAL: Minnesota’s PUC delayed until next March a decision on whether Minnesota Power should close three coal-fired units. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

ALSO: As utilities rely less on coal, U.S. railroads are losing a significant source of revenue, and a new Natural Resources Defense Council report lists the top 20 states for toxic pollutants from coal plants. (ClimateWire, NRDC Switchboard)

ILLINOIS: If Chicago residents vote to allow the city to negotiate electricity rates with other suppliers, it could harm the development of in-state renewable energy. That is, unless a small fix is made to the state’s renewable energy standard. (Midwest Energy News)

NUCLEAR: While the NRC has halted renewing licenses, it’s unclear what this means for existing nuclear plants, because they don’t necessarily need a license to continue operating. Meanwhile, at a public hearing in Ohio, critics call FirstEnergy’s explanation for cracks in the Davis-Besse plant’s shield building a “snow job,” and questioned federal regulators’ acceptance of the finding. And a nuclear plant in drought-stricken Iowa is forced to dredge a nearby river in order to ensure it has enough water for cooling. (New York Times, Toledo Blade, Des Moines Register)

WIND: The production tax credit remains a key issue in the presidential campaign, as President Obama tells Coloradans that letting the credit expire will cost their state thousands of jobs. (Bloomberg)

FRACKING: Chesapeake Energy is now the subject of a federal antitrust investigation over allegations it colluded with another company over land leasing in Michigan, and a fourth-generation Illinois oil producer says “we’re all on the same side” when it comes to drilling safely. (Reuters, Carbondale Southern)

ELECTRIC CARS: GM says one of its battery suppliers is working on a breakthrough that could lead to 100-mile-range electric cars at half the cost of existing technology. (Associated Press)

SOLAR: Ohio officials say troubled solar firm Willard & Kelsey has until Sept. 5 to pay back the nearly $5 million it owes the state. (Toledo Blade)

OHIO: The Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council is offering ratepayers a seven-year contract to lock in electricity rates at 6.75 cents per kWh. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

TRANSPORTATION: Business groups in Fort Wayne, Indiana, raise $80,000 to study the feasibility of a high-speed rail link to Chicago. (Fort Wane News-Sentinel)

COMMENTARY: Clifton Yin says the success of the Curiosity rover makes the case for government investment in advanced energy technology. (The Energy Collective)

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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