FRACKING: Illinois releases its draft rules for hydraulic fracturing, environmental groups say the proposal undermines key elements of a law passed earlier this year. (Chicago Tribune)

ETHANOL: For the first time, the EPA proposes cutting the renewable fuel mandate; backers of the ethanol industry say the move could create “another farm crisis.” (Washington Post, Des Moines Register)

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‘PETKOCH’: Federal regulators order pollution monitors to be posted around piles of petroleum coke building up on Chicago’s Southeast Side. (Chicago Tribune)

OHIO: A consumer group warns a bill to weaken Ohio’s renewable energy law would allow utilities to make as much as 50 percent profit on efficiency programs, and “could collect as much as $23” in charges for a single CFL bulb; a set of proposed amendments backed by manufacturers, businesses and environmentalists would eliminate some of the most controversial language in the bill. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

EFFICIENCY: Why do some industries in Ohio and elsewhere want out of utility efficiency programs? We take a closer look. (Midwest Energy News)

COAL: Illinois regulators are expected to decide this week whether to grant delays for pollution upgrades for five coal plants, Minnesota regulators will gather more public input on the state’s largest coal plant, and the EPA objects to a permit for an Ohio coal mine. (Associated Press, St. Cloud Times, Columbus Dispatch)

SOLAR: What the fight over net metering in Arizona means for the rest of us. (CNBC)

OIL: North Dakota’s oil production is expected to top 1 million barrels per day by the end of this year. (Fargo Forum)

TRANSMISSION: Manufacturers say utilities are making too much money off of high-voltage power lines, and landowners in Iowa and Illinois organize to oppose a new wind energy transmission line. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier)

SMART GRID: How the smart grid will require utility linemen to be more tech savvy. (Chicago Tribune)

WIND: Workers at an Iowa wind plant seek to unionize, citing concerns over workplace safety. (Des Moines Register)

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COMMENTARY: Why “the future of coal looks bleak,” and what happened to all the enthusiasm for “clean coal“? (Huffington Post)

CORRECTION: An item in Friday’s digest incorrectly stated that Xcel Energy had hired an investigator to look at nuclear cost overruns. The investigator was chosen by Minnesota regulators.

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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