CLIMATE: An MIT study predicts health benefits will significantly offset — or even exceed — the costs of greenhouse gas reductions, and the GAO rejects Republican concerns about how the social cost of carbon estimate was calculated. (Greenwire, The Hill)

PIPELINES: A recent ruling denying federal review of the nearly-completed Flanagan South project is an example of a trend toward fast-tracking pipelines, and pipeline protesters lock themselves to a truck in Michigan. (Midwest Energy News, Associated Press)

***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.***

GRID: The PJM Interconnection warns that a “rapid transition” from coal could raise the risk of blackouts, particularly during harsh winters. (Columbus Business First)

FRACKING: “Gathering lines” for drilling operations pose risks to homeowners with little government oversight, and Michigan’s governor orders a review of state standards for disposal of radioactive drilling waste. (NBC News, Associated Press)

FRAC SAND: Minnesota officials will require an environmental review for a proposed frac sand shipping operation. (Winona Daily News)

POLLUTION: A court rejects a Kansas town’s effort to require BP to do further cleanup work at a refinery site, and Duke Energy now says 9,000 gallons of diesel were released into the Ohio River from a power plant last week. (Topeka Capital-Journal, Cincinnati Business Courier)

TRANSPORTATION: Grain shipments are backlogged as oil traffic dominates Midwest rail lines. (New York Times)

SOLAR: A new Indiana solar farm begins producing power. (Associated Press)

EFFICIENCY: Kalamazoo County, Michigan considers PACE financing. (WMUK)

***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.***

SMART GRID: 3M makes a $5 million investment in a company that makes smart grid technology. (Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal)

COMMENTARY: Which kills more birds, renewable energy or fossil fuels? (Climate Progress)

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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