SOLAR: A Massachusetts church challenges local officials’ rejection of its solar plan, arguing it impinges on religious freedom. (Boston Globe)

• Agreement within the utility industry on how to further democratize distributed energy “appears elusive.” (Utility Dive)
• Solar installers say a California utility’s plan would make rooftop solar accessible only to the very wealthy. (Palm Springs Desert Sun)

WIND: A New York utility pursues an offshore wind project off Long Island that would be the nation’s largest. (Bloomberg)

• An industry group says Massachusetts’ push for clean energy could put New England’s last nuclear plants out of business. (Bloomberg)
• A report finds the Department of Energy fails to protect whistleblowers from retaliation. (McClatchy)

PIPELINES: Groups that have been closely involved with Michigan’s inquiry into the safety and alternatives to Enbridge’s Line 5 say the process is moving too slowly and continues to favor the company. (Midwest Energy News)

• Companies are spending millions to defeat Colorado ballot measures that would impose more local control over drilling. (Reuters)
• BP estimates the total cost of the 2010 Gulf oil spill at $61.6 billion. (Houston Chronicle)
• A fifth California county pursues a fracking ban. (East Bay Express)
• An oil company agrees to plead guilty to two criminal charges for a 2011 spill in Montana. (Associated Press)

COAL: A West Virginia report predicts coal will continue to decline before the industry stabilizes: “You see a bottom forming. We’re not necessarily there yet.” (MetroNews)

• A new Virginia law giving lawmakers the power to freeze rates – potentially a boon for utilities – may face a challenge in the state Supreme Court. (Southeast Energy News)
• Advocates criticize Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder for appointing a former BP lobbyist to lead the state Department of Environmental Quality. (Detroit Free Press)

• Salt Lake City approves a resolution committing to 100 percent renewable energy by 2032. (EcoWatch)
• A new report urges investors to look more closely at the financial risks of climate change. (Christian Science Monitor)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Sales of electric cars are rising despite low gasoline prices. (ClimateWire)

UTILITIES: Southern Company’s CEO sees electrification of the economy as a key driver of future U.S. growth. (EnergyWire)

POLITICS: Democrats will be asked to endorse an official party platform that calls for putting a price on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions, but which stops short of explicitly calling for a carbon tax. (InsideClimate News)

• Why clean energy is booming in conservative states. (Nexus Media)
• What a conservative climate action agenda might look like. (Grist)

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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