OIL: Production in North Dakota tops 1 million barrels per day, but state officials expect production to plateau in 2017. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

ALSO: An analysis finds oil-train crashes have increased dramatically in the past five years. (Politico)

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CLIMATE: After months of study, two Minnesota agencies recommend regulators use federal carbon cost estimates in utility planning rather than revise the state’s figure. (EnergyWire)

EPA: In Chicago, Gina McCarthy says EPA carbon rules are designed to help struggling nuclear plants, and describes proposed targets as “very modest.” (Chicago Tribune, Crain’s Chicago Business)

SOLAR: A report projects more than half of U.S. homebuilders will offer solar panels as an option by 2016. (ClimateWire)

ELECTRIC CARS: A state lawmaker says an Indianapolis utility should not be allowed to raise rates to cover costs of a proposed electric car-sharing program. (Indianapolis Star)

PETCOKE: U.S. petroleum coke exports are soaring amid cheaper natural gas and tougher pollution rules. (Reuters)

KEYSTONE XL: A soon-to-expire permit in South Dakota could open a new front in the Keystone XL pipeline fight, and Canada approves an alternative pipeline to British Columbia. (InsideClimate News, New York Times)

UTILITIES: A new paper compares utilities to the streetcar business, warning that diversification of services is key to survival; and a Wisconsin environmental group says the state’s energy mix has “too many eggs in one basket.” (Forbes, Public News Service)

EFFICIENCY: Minnesota cities share energy data to find new ways to improve efficiency. (Minnesota Public Radio)

ETHANOL: A threat to the Renewable Fuel Standard unites political rivals in Iowa. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

COAL ASH: Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signs a bill allowing expanded use of coal ash. (Associated Press)

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TRANSPORTATION: A new report finds a growing number of walkable areas in American cities, declaring an “end of sprawl” in some places. (ClimateWire)

COMMENTARY: Why ignoring climate change is no longer a viable political strategy for Republicans. (Bloomberg View)

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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