CLIMATE: The world’s largest scientific organization issues a dire warning on climate change, the White House will introduce a new climate data website, and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse visits Iowa with hopes of making climate a central issue in the 2016 presidential race. (New York Times, Cedar Rapids Gazette)

FRACKING: Voters in an Illinois county reject a measure that would have called for an ordinance to ban fracking. (WSIU)

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UTILITIES: A bill in Minnesota would allow customers to pay off energy improvements via their utility bills, with some limitations. (Midwest Energy News)

• A pipeline rupture spills thousands of gallons of oil into an Ohio nature preserve. (Reuters)
• Facing declining production, Bakken drillers pursue more aggressive techniques to extract oil. (EnergyWire)
• Three bills in the Minnesota legislature will impose tougher standards on oil trains. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
• Some Nebraska landowners are eager to see the Keystone XL pipeline built. (Associated Press)
• Public hearings will be held this week on a proposed Minnesota pipeline expansion. (Minnesota Public Radio)

COAL ASH: Duke Energy may shut down more coal plants in response to last month’s ash spill, as the incident increases pressure on the EPA to regulate coal ash as hazardous waste. (Charlotte Business Journal, Wall Street Journal)

COAL: An Illinois town votes to increase its sales tax and electricity rates to fund its deal with the Prairie State coal plant. (Chicago Tribune)

OHIO: Four Ohio lawmakers call for an investigation into alleged “inappropriate political pressure” at the state’s EPA. (Columbus Dispatch)

SOLAR: A Minnesota bill would prevent homeowner associations from banning solar panels, and state officials plan to promote solar thermal systems as an alternative to propane. (Forum News Service, Minnesota Public Radio)

AGGREGATION: A Chicago suburb will see its energy prices rise 20 percent this year under its all-renewable electricity contract. (Chicago Tribune)

EFFICIENCY: Minneapolis struggles with a program to build high-efficiency homes, and the Detroit airport’s switch to LED lights is expected to save $1.2 million annually in energy costs. (Minneapolis Star Tribune, Detroit Free Press)

MICHIGAN: Michigan advocates call for more tax incentives for renewable energy. (WXZO)

BIOFUELS: A cellulosic ethanol producer warns investors it may file for bankruptcy. (Des Moines Register)

NUCLEAR: A mechanical failure forces Nebraska’s Fort Calhoun nuclear plant to shut down for the second time in three months. (Omaha World-Herald)

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MEDIA: The Society of Environmental Journalists says the EPA is “incredibly secretive,” calls for greater transparency. (Greenwire)

COMMENTARY: How old electric car batteries could help stabilize the grid. (Forbes)


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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