OIL: Work begins on the Flanagan South oil sands pipeline as fast-track approval appears all but certain. (Midwest Energy News)

ALSO: Language in a House bill could make it more difficult for the public to review design standards for pipelines. (SNL)

***SPONSORED LINK: The Inspiring Efficiency Awards recognize Midwest leaders who deliver groundbreaking advancements in energy efficiency. Apply or provide a nomination today.***

SOLAR: Solar panels will be installed on the White House roof, with work beginning this week. (Washington Post)

POLITICS: A federal court will hear accusations that two North Dakota regulators took improper campaign contributions from the coal industry, and Ernest Moniz defends the Department of Energy loan program: “what is there to be defensive about?(Associated Press, The Hill)

TRANSMISSION: How grid limitations are holding back wind power in the Northeast, and public hearings are scheduled in Kansas on the Grain Belt Express transmission line. (New York Times, Hays Daily News)

ILLINOIS: A new state Environmental Justice Commission will help ensure low-income and minority populations aren’t disproportionately impacted by pollution. (Springfield State Journal-Register)

NUCLEAR: A new report says all 104 U.S. nuclear reactors are vulnerable to terrorist attacks. (Reuters)

FRACKING: A measure to ban fracking in an Ohio town won’t be allowed on the ballot, and how drilling can harm the real estate market. (Athens Messenger, Grist)

COAL: Indiana regulators penalize a utility $10 million for using an “overly simplistic” cost-benefit analysis of coal plant upgrades. (Indianapolis Star)

CLIMATE: A new interactive map charts climate change vulnerability throughout the Great Lakes. (CleanTechnica)

AGRICULTURE: An Iowa state panel rejects a proposal that would have exempted farm buildings from electrical inspections. (Des Moines Register)

EFFICIENCY: Conservatives seek to block new efficiency rules for microwave ovens over concerns about how the social cost of carbon is calculated. (The Hill)

BIOENERGY: U.S. Rep. Fred Upton helps dedicate a new landfill gas-to-energy plant in Michigan, saying it could provide electricity for the next 100 years. (MLive)

TRANSPORTATION: Amid criticism, Ford lowers fuel economy estimates for its C-Max hybrid, and will send rebate checks to owners. (Los Angeles Times)

COMMENTARY: Why utilities don’t want you to put solar panels on your roof. (Quartz)

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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