OIL: Minnesota regulators unanimously signed-off on an expansion of Enbridge’s Alberta Clipper oil pipeline as protesters interrupted a meeting with chants of “shame on you.” Also: Enbridge is seeking swift regulatory approval of a 600-mile pipeline from Illinois to its facilities in Cushing, Oklahoma. (Minneapolis Star Tribune, Duluth News Tribune, The Associated Press)

UTILITIES: Minnesota’s second largest electricity provider received a vote of disapproval from state regulators Wednesday for its long-term planning efforts. (Midwest Energy News)

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EFFICIENCY: The Obama administration is rolling out an “aggressive” series of executive actions to cut carbon emissions through energy efficiency. Meanwhile, Sen. John Hoeven of North Dakota predicts a bipartisan energy efficiency bill will collapse if it doesn’t include a deal on Keystone XL. (The Hill)

NUCLEAR: A Vermont Law School analysis identifies a dozen U.S. nuclear reactors at the greatest risk of early retirement, including facilities in Michigan, Ohio, and Illinois. (MLive.com, Toledo Blade)

HAZE: Nebraska’s Lincoln Electric System argues that it’s done enough to reduce air pollution over Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Rocky Mountain national parks, but federal regulators are pressing for more improvements. (Lincoln Journal Star)

UTILITIES: An annual customer-satisfaction survey shows Iowa’s MidAmerican Energy has the region’s happiest utility customers, while power outages may have darkened customers’ attitudes for American Electric Power in Ohio. (The Columbus Dispatch)

HEATWAVE: There’s probably some unhappy customers in Ohio’s prison system, which has cut power to lights and fans this week as part of a utility conservation program that saves the state money on its electric bill. Air conditioning remained on in staff offices. Also: The power grid is tested by the heat wave: Will it pass? (The Columbus Dispatch, Marketplace)

OIL: More than half of the oil-and-gas leases auctioned off Wednesday by a regional Bureau of Land Management office were in South Dakota, where drilling permits are also up from a year ago. (Rapid City Journal)

FRACKING: More than 200 citizens in a western Michigan township showed up for a public meeting on the pros and cons of fracking. A local opposition group accused the state of collaborating with the oil and gas industry instead of protecting the public interest. (MLive.com)

COMMENTARY: David Biello asks: Why don’t farmers believe in climate change? The answer might have something to do with the year-to-year variability that farmers have always contended with. (Slate)

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