OIL: On the two-year anniversary of the Enbridge oil spill into Michigan’s Kalamazoo river, protesters invoke still-existing contamination to condemn the tar sands industry. (Midwest Energy News)

CLIMATE: A new study finds stronger thunderstorms fueled by a warming atmosphere pose a threat to the ozone layer, as extreme heat wreaks havoc on energy and transportation infrastructure. (New York Times)

NATURAL GAS: An Associated Press investigation finds an inexpensive safety valve could have prevented or mitigated at least 270 natural gas explosions since 1968.

WIND: A consulting firm’s report says worldwide orders for wind turbines fell 30 percent in the first half of this year, but could rebound in 2013; and turbine blade truckers make practice runs in the streets of Muskegon, Michigan. (Reuters, Muskegon Chronicle)

OHIO: Duke Energy disputes a report in a trade magazine that it’s planning to sell its Midwest power plants. (Charlotte Business Journal)

FRACKING: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce launches its ad campaign in support of shale oil and gas development, and a western Wisconsin county extends its frac sand mining moratorium another three months. (Reuters, WTAQ)

NORTH DAKOTA: The mother of a worker killed by hydrocarbon fumes at a North Dakota oil drilling operation has filed a wrongful death lawsuit alleging negligence. (Associated Press)

ETHANOL: Despite drought crippling their home state’s livestock industry, Nebraska’s U.S. senators say they will not support a rollback of federal ethanol mandates to ease corn prices. (Lincoln Journal Star)

WASTE-TO-ENERGY: A 4.8 MW landfill gas power plant is near completion in Ohio. (Youngstown Vindicator)

COMMENTARY: Steve Thompson, president of an Iowa-based company that provides support to the wind industry, says extending the production tax credit “is not a Republican or Democratic issue: This is an American manufacturing jobs issue.” (Des Moines Register)

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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