OIL AND GAS: A jury awards $4.2 million to two Pennsylvania families who say their water was contaminated by nearby fracking operations. (Reuters)

• The White House announces a crackdown on methane emissions from existing wells. (Houston Chronicle)
• Even though crude oil prices are on the rise, underlying market factors may continue to push some U.S. companies out of the industry. (EnergyWire)
• Construction begins on a natural gas plant in Texas that will capture all emissions for oil field recovery. (Houston Chronicle)

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• Oregon’s governor signs a bill increasing the state’s renewable energy standard to 50 percent by 2040. (Oregonian)
• A partnership between the city of Minneapolis and two utilities is receiving national attention for reducing emissions through efficiency and renewables. (Midwest Energy News)

• EPA carbon rules factor heavily into Montana’s gubernatorial race. (ClimateWire)
• Missouri lawmakers look to postpone state work on a compliance strategy. (Midwest Energy News)

• Utah lawmakers reject, the resurrect, a bill that would transfer utility policy oversight to the state legislature. (Deseret News)
• Georgia Power is the first major retail electric utility in the U.S. to offer “green” bonds aimed at supporting renewable energy and lowering customer rates. (Renewable Energy from Waste)

• A climate pact between the U.S. and Canada addresses some of the lesser-known issues contributing to climate change, such as methane and aviation. (Climate Central)
• Scientists see an unprecedented growth rate of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in 2015. (Climate Central)
• An oil industry group pushes back on media investigations into Exxon’s climate disclosures. (The Hill)

• Completion of a gas pipeline in the Northeast is delayed at least six months as developers await permits from New York. (Albany Times Union)
• Iowa regulators unanimously approve a permit for the $3.8 billion Bakken pipeline to pass through the state and for the company to use eminent domain. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

• New Hampshire lawmakers advance a bill to raise the state’s net metering cap. (New Hampshire Public Radio)
• A Northeast utility launches a first-of-its-kind solar marketplace for its Rhode Island customers. (Greentech Media)
• Outdoor clothing retailer Patagonia will help subsidize 1,500 residential solar installations. (New York Times)
Dueling studies emerge in an Arizona solar case. (Utility Dive)

WIND: Sen. Lamar Alexandar wants new funds for energy research to be offset by cutting tax breaks for wind energy. (Washington Examiner)

• Utah lawmakers approve reallocating $53 million in transportation funds to help pay for a coal export terminal in California. (Salt Lake Tribune)
• Arch Coal abandons plans for a controversial surface mine in southeastern Montana. (Los Angeles Times)

TECHNOLOGY: GE is working on an energy storage system that combines solar power with sequestered carbon dioxide. (Fast Company)

EFFICIENCY: A New York utility is hoping sending detailed information to customers about their energy use will encourage conservation. (New York Times)

Policy consistency is needed for clean energy to grow. (Forbes)
• Automakers’ focus on vans, trucks and SUVs is jeopardizing fuel efficiency progress. (New York Times)
• Why 2016 will be a “banner year” for utility-scale solar. (Vox)

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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