FRAC SAND: Wisconsin towns that have profited from frac sand mining are now concerned the boom will dry up. (EnergyWire)

TRANSMISSION: Missouri regulators signal they’ll likely reject the Grain Belt Express transmission project. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

***SPONSORED LINK: The Illinois Renewable Energy Conference, July 16 in Normal, Illinois, will feature plenary sessions of interest to all areas of renewable energy, plus specific breakout sessions for wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, and energy efficiency.***

• A report finds Wisconsin’s efficiency program delivers $3 in benefits for every $1 spent. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
• Administrators of a rural Minnesota PACE program are encouraging farmers and livestock producers to apply. (Worthington Daily Globe)

SOLAR: An Iowa school district will soon get more than 90 percent of its electricity from solar. (KCRG)

• Minnesota regulators are expected to vote this week on a proposed crude oil pipeline. (Minnesota Public Radio)
• A pipeline opponent and former Iowa lawmaker says he’ll target legislators that don’t support tougher restrictions on eminent domain. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

• Major oil companies are shifting their focus to natural gas. (Bloomberg)
• A bill in the Ohio legislature would offer tax credits for natural gas-powered vehicles. (Youngstown Vindicator)
• Crews are replacing nearly 70-year-old natural gas pipelines running beneath the Ohio River near Cincinnati. (Cincinnati Business Courier)

GRID: A new report identifies Illinois as one of the top emerging markets for energy storage. (Greentech Media)

WIND: A European innovation could cut the cost of a proposed offshore wind farm in Lake Erie. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

UTILITIES: Ohio’s supreme court rules that state regulators erred in reducing the interest rate American Electric Power could charge for fuel costs, which cost the utility $130 million. (Columbus Dispatch)

• The EPA is expected to announce it will pursue emission limits for airplanes. (New York Times)
• A member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission says the Clean Power Plan could “fundamentally change everything about how utilities are regulated,” causing states to cede control. (EnergyWire)

POLITICS: A University of Michigan poll finds a majority of Americans support renewable energy standards. (news release)

ECONOMY: A conference seeks to raise the Midwest’s profile as a destination for foreign investors, citing in part the region’s low energy costs and abundant natural gas. (Columbus Dispatch)

COAL: Authorities investigate the death of a coal miner in Illinois. (Associated Press)

COMMENTARY: Eight maps show Americans’ incoherent opinions on climate change. (Vox)

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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