FARM BILL: The House version of the Farm Bill would eliminate five rural energy programs and cut others. (The Hill)

EFFICIENCY: Thanks to a federal pilot program, an Appalachian nonprofit is on the process of providing energy retrofits for every home in an old Ohio coal town. (ClimateWire)

COAL: A coalition of business and environmental groups call on Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn to veto a bill supporting a proposed coal-to-gas plant in Chicago. (Springfield State Journal-Register)

ETHANOL: U.S. Ethanol production drops to the lowest level in 10 months, as the crippling Midwest heat wave has some farmers abandoning crops altogether, threatening to send corn prices higher. (Reuters, New York Times)

SPEAKING OF THE HEAT WAVE: Iowa’s MidAmerican Energy says electricity demand is close to record levels, but the utility still has plenty of reserve power. (Des Moines Register)

TRANSPORTATION: A growing number of studies show that Americans are driving less. (ClimateWire)

‘MAKING IT HERE’: A conference in Cleveland will provide information for manufacturers seeking to tap into the energy technology supply chain. (Akron Beacon Journal)

PULLING STRINGS?: FERC is investigating whether the financial firm JPMorgan manipulated electricity markets in the Midwest and California. (Reuters)

FRACKING: The shale gas boom is chewing up supplies of guar gum, a key ingredient in fracking fluid that is also used in ice cream and other products. (Houston Chronicle)

COMMENTARY: The Detroit Free Press says federal regulators need to account for the possible impacts of diluted bitument, or DilBit, from the oil sands on pipelines; Yoram Bauman and Shi-Ling Hsu call a carbon tax “the most sensible tax of all”; and Michael Levi explains what the Higgs-Boson discovery tells us about climate skeptics. (Detroit Free Press, New York Times, Council on Foreign Relations)

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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