OHIO: FirstEnergy says a proposed deal to support its aging power plants will be a windfall for ratepayers, but won’t release information that could shed light on that claim. Critics, meanwhile, continue to criticize the proposal as a “bailout.” (Midwest Energy News)

ALSO: A watchdog group says Gov. Kasich’s office is evading records requests related to S.B. 310, and an Ohio steel mill pays a $227,000 fine for falling short of renewable energy targets. (Columbus Dispatch, Cleveland Plain Dealer)

***SPONSORED LINK: Support Solar in Illinois – Purchase a raffle ticket to win a Tesla Model S and Bosch Home Charger from the Illinois Solar Energy Association! Only 2,000 tickets will be sold.***

UTILITIES: While rural co-ops generally aren’t embracing efforts to cut carbon emissions, many are building renewable energy projects anyway; securities filings outline details of a proposed Wisconsin Energy-Integrys merger; and a survey finds utilities see distributed generation as both a threat and an opportunity. (ClimateWire, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Greentech Media)

FRACKING: A new report says drillers have used thousands of gallons of diesel fuel in fracking operations without obtaining necessary federal permits, and anti-fracking protesters disrupt a meeting of state Democrats in Illinois. (Los Angeles Times, Quad-City Times)

SOLAR: Ford and DTE Energy plan a 1 MW solar array at the automaker’s Detroit heaquarters, and owners of a landmark Chicago building raise $600,000 for a solar project. (Associated Press, DNAinfo)

TRANSMISSION: Opponents pack a hearing on a proposed Clean Line transmission project in Missouri. (EnergyWire)

COAL: Amid concerns over rail congestion, BNSF pledges to ensure Midwest power plants have enough coal to continue operating. (La Cross Tribune)

OIL: A North Dakota commission recommends $1 billion in new spending for roads and bridges in the Oil Patch. (Forum News Service)

WASTE-TO-ENERGY: A Wisconsin tribe asks a judge to throw out a lawsuit related to its proposed waste-to-energy plant in Green Bay. (Green Bay Press-Gazette)

***SPONSORED LINK: The Illinois Renewable Energy Association will host the 13th annual Illinois Renewable Energy and Sustainable Lifestyle Fair on August 23 and 24 at the Ogle County Fairgrounds, Oregon, Illinois.***

CLIMATE: Michigan-based Kellogg Co. announces plans to cut carbon emissions, and Jimmy Carter says “nutcases” are preventing action on climate change. (Battle Creek Enquirer, The Hill)

COMMENTARY: Why a recent report on Keystone XL emissions is probably wrong, and do revolving doors really save energy? (Council on Foreign Relations, Vox)

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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