NOTE TO READERS: Midwest Energy News will not be published tomorrow or Monday. Site updates and the email digest return Tuesday, September 3.

COAL: An Ohio town formally requests to have the state attorney general investigate its contract with the Prairie State Energy Campus in Illinois. (Columbus Dispatch)

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EFFICIENCY: A Q&A with a Minnesota planner who designs suburban subdivisions according to the existing contours of the land to save energy. (Midwest Energy News)

OIL: Residents of towns along the Keystone XL corridor are largely indifferent to the project, saying they’re skeptical that any economic impact will reach their communities; Enbridge gets approval to proceed with upgrades to an Indiana segment of the Line 6B pipeline; and Nebraska activists break ground on a solar barn they’re building in the pipeline’s path. (Bloomberg, Bold Nebraska)

FRAC SAND: A Wisconsin lawmaker calls for eight additional DNR employees to monitor sand mining in the state; and school districts where mining takes place will see less state aid, although tax revenues may make up the difference. (Madison Capital Times, Wisconsin Public Radio)

SOLAR: Two Chicago firms are among 22 installers selected to receive $7 billion in Pentagon clean energy contracts, companies in Wisconsin and Michigan also made the list. (Crain’s Chicago Business, news release)

ALSO: Illinois, Missouri and Kansas were among the top ten states for clean energy job creation in the second quarter of this year, according to a business group’s report. (St. Louis Business Journal)

POLITICS: Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, who’s been targeted for his rejection of climate science in an ad campaign, says he doesn’t have a belief “one way or the other” on whether human activities cause climate change. That’s a shift from 2010, when he said sunspots were a likely cause. (Wisconsin Public Radio, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

NUCLEAR: Federal regulators will re-inspect a Minnesota nuclear plant amid concerns it isn’t adequately prepared for flooding. (Minnesota Public Radio)

COMMENTARY: How human psychology prevents us from acting on climate change. (Bloomberg)

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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