CLIMATE: The nation’s energy system is vulnerable to increasingly severe weather events being driven by climate change, warns a new report from the U.S. Department of Energy. “We don’t have a robust energy system,” one official said. “You can’t just put your head in the sand anymore.” (The New York Times)

EFFICIENCY: A national network of energy efficiency organizations, including Michigan Saves, is working to share best practices, tools and forums with each other in hopes of boosting efficiency nationwide. (Midwest Energy News)

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CONGRESS: The House passed a $30 billion energy and water spending bill late Wednesday that President Obama has threatened to veto. Also: Sources say a major energy efficiency bill is close to coming to the Senate floor. (The Hill)

TRANSPORTATION: Kansas City’s transit agency rolled out its first two natural-gas powered buses and announced plans to switch its entire fleet from diesel to natural gas over the next 12 to 14 years. Meanwhile, propane-powered vehicles now have a place to fill up in Duluth, Minn. (The Kansas City Star, Duluth News Tribune)

OIL & GAS: A group of Ohio landowners who signed away their oil and gas rights for as little as $50 per acre before the Utica Shale boom began will soon have their case heard by a district appeals court. The plaintiffs say Beck Energy Corp. has failed to develop the land in a timely manner. (Youngstown Vindicator)

MORE OIL: Three major oil companies have agreed to repay Minnesota $7.4 million after an investigation found they “double dipped” from a state fund for underground tank cleanups, taking funds after they had already been reimbursed by their insurance carriers. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

KEYSTONE XL: County commissioners in York, Nebraska, have tabled a resolution to oppose construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. Dozens of people packed a meeting Tuesday in which the board said it wanted more time to study and revise the resolution, and wait for all five members to be present. (York News-Times)

FRACKING: Fearing that a fracking boom might bring an influx of strip clubs with it, the southern Illinois town of Fairfield passed a ban on nude dancing. Meanwhile, the U.S. postmaster pledged to improve mail delivery service to North Dakota oil field housing. (Evansville Courier & Press, Fargo Forum)

NUCLEAR: In Minnesota, Xcel Energy expects to restart its 554-megawatt Monticello nuclear power reactor later this week. The plant was shut down in March for refueling and an expansion expected to add 71 megawatts of capacity. (Reuters)

COMMENTARY: A life-cycle analysis of electric cars reveals the health and environmental benefits “fade practically to the disappearing point.” Instead, we should focus on reducing driving through compact land use, higher fuel taxes, better transit, bicycling and walking infrastructure. (Minnesota2020)

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