RENEWABLES: Facebook, Microsoft and other companies form a Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance aimed at supporting 60 GW of clean energy by 2025. (Bloomberg)

ALSO:
• Major U.S. companies are already fueling “spectacular” growth in renewable energy sales. (Financial Times)
• A report reveals companies that have purchased 100% of their electricity from renewable sources. (Quartz)
• Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz explains why Texas should develop a clean energy plan. (Texas Tribune)

CLIMATE:
• The Obama administration issues the first regulations designed to cut methane emissions from new oil and gas operations. (New York Times)
• Colorado, which has already adopted tougher methane rules, is starting to see other benefits. (Colorado Public Radio)
• Environmental groups say the rules should also be applied to existing operations. (The Hill)

OIL & GAS:
• More than 88,000 gallons of crude oil spill into the Gulf of Mexico south of Louisiana due to a leak that has been capped. (New Orleans Times-Picayune)
• Industry groups sue the federal government over sage grouse protections. (Deseret News)

FRACKING: A new study says young children and infants are particularly at risk from airborne pollutants associated with fracking and drilling. (DeSmog)

COAL:
• Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship reports for a one-year prison sentence for his role in a deadly mine explosion. (Associated Press)
• Union Pacific says declining coal shipments leave it with less money to spend on infrastructure. (Wichita Eagle)

COAL ASH: A North Carolina epidemiologist says Duke Energy used its connections in state government to try to override health recommendations on water near coal ash ponds. (Winston-Salem Journal)

GRID: Utilities push back against a federal proposal to allow private citizens to sue parties seen as trying to manipulate power markets via regional grids that include several Southeast states. (EnergyWire, SNL)

SOLAR:
• A new report identifies states, primarily in the Midwest and Southeast, that have policies that hinder solar growth rather than encourage it. (Utility Dive)
• Clean energy advocates file a proposal with Minnesota regulators that would make it easier and faster to connect new solar projects to the grid. (Midwest Energy News)
• A New Jersey utility launches a streamlined application process for solar projects. (NJ.com)
• A Nevada solar thermal plant could serve as a model for similar projects in Australia. (The Guardian)
• Solar jobs have declined 35% in Hawaii after state regulators ended net metering there. (Utility Dive)

NUCLEAR:
• The head of a Nebraska utility calls for closing the country’s smallest nuclear plant by the end of the year because “it’s just not economically viable.” (Associated Press)
• Despite skepticism, small modular reactors may soon become a reality. (MIT Technology Review)

POLITICS: New research explores the social and psychological reasons people are reluctant to talk about climate change. (Washington Post)

COMMENTARY:
• Why SunEdison is not Solyndra. (Huffington Post)
• Republicans should embrace renewable energy, but on their own terms. (The Hill)

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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