POLITICS: Mitt Romney releases his energy plan, which pledges to make the U.S. an “energy superpower,” and put states in charge of oil and gas drilling on federal lands. (Washington Post)

IF YOU’RE KEEPING SCORE AT HOME: Grist’s Lisa Hymas did a word count on Romney’s plan: Oil is mentioned 154 times; wind, 10 times; and climate, zero.

MEANWHILE: The League of Conservation Voters has launched a petition drive to get a question on climate change included in the first presidential debate. (The Hill)

SOLAR: Indianapolis Power & Light may soon have more solar power installed in its service area than any other Midwest utility, thanks to an innovative feed-in tariff policy. So why is the utility pulling the plug on the program? (Midwest Energy News)

GRID: An analysis by Wood Mackenzie predicts U.S. electricity demand will grow only about 1.1 percent per year, compared to 2 percent growth over the past two decades. (Houston Chronicle)

COAL: Tuesday’s ruling on the EPA’s Cross-State rule is a reprieve for some coal-burning power plants, but low natural gas prices, what one analyst calls “the great destroyer,” still puts their future in doubt. (Bloomberg)

ETHANOL: Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad urges the EPA not to waive the ethanol mandate. (Des Moines Register)

TRANSPORTATION: Toyota will team up with Duke Energy for an Indiana pilot program to test how electric cars can communicate with the grid to determine the most cost-effective times to charge. (Indianapolis Star)

PIPELINES: A natural gas pipeline crossing the Ogallala Aquifer in Nebraska will be converted to transport crude oil from North Dakota. (Omaha World-Herald)

CLIMATE: Environmental activists in Kansas appeal to traditional rural values to make progress on clean energy, and a new program offers Midwest farmers emissions credits for cutting their use of fertlizer. (OnEarth Magazine, Great Lakes Echo)

FRAC SAND: A St. Paul filmmaker’s documentary on frac sand mining stirs more questions in small towns in southeast Minnesota. (Preston Republican-Leader)

COMMENTARY: How climate change got caught up in the culture wars, why changing the ethanol mandate isn’t so simple, and an Iowa Republican explains why he’s voting for Obama this year. (Forbes, Muncie Star Press, Sioux City Journal)

Ken Paulman

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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