RENEWABLES: Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz says a transition to clean energy “is becoming inevitable.” (Forbes)

• Environmental groups team with the utility industry to help connect major companies with clean energy resources. (Utility Dive)
• The EIA projects U.S. renewable energy capacity will double by 2040. (Houston Chronicle)
• Montana regulators debate how much utilities should pay for clean energy. (Montana Public Radio)
• Federal officials say the rise of distributed energy requires rethinking how the grid is structured. (EnergyWire)

• Exelon officials detail plans to close two Illinois nuclear plants in 2017 and 2018, but note that “the decision can be reversed.” (Chicago Tribune)
• A South Carolina utility requests an $852 million increase in the cost of two reactors under construction, raising the current estimate to about $14 billion. (Huntington News Service)

• The Congressional Budget Office warns lawmakers about the financial risks of climate change. (Politico)
• Environmental groups reject a Texas congressman’s request for documents related to investigations into Exxon Mobil’s climate change disclosures. (Washington Post)
• Congress considers bills that would significantly cut federal funding for climate change research. (ClimateWire)

POLITICS: A liberal group says campaign contributions from fossil fuel industries create a conflict of interest for Ohio’s attorney general. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

• A judge recommends a $24 million fine against a California utility for oversights leading to a 2014 natural gas explosion. (San Francisco Business Times)
• Texas oil jobs are expected to continue declining despite a turnaround in prices. (Houston Chronicle)
• Voters in an oil-rich California county will decide on a proposed fracking ban in November. (San Jose Mercury News) 

• Colorado’s largest-producing coal mine is cutting a quarter of its workforce. (Denver Post)
• Peabody Energy is seeking permission to give millions in bonuses to keep key employees from fleeing the company. (SNL Energy)
Four residents of a small Alabama town are fighting back against a giant landfill operator in Georgia that filed a $30 million defamation suit against it for opposing an ash dump. (Grist)

• The Interior Department proposes leasing 81,000 acres off Long Island for offshore wind. (Morning Consult)
• A judge upholds a county’s rejection of a Maryland wind farm. (Associated Press)
• A decision by Vermont regulators helps a dairy farm’s wind project move forward. (Newport Dispatch)

HYDRO: California hydropower production is up slightly as the drought eases. (Climate Central)

UTILITIES: A Pennsylvania utility pilots a time-of-use option for customers. (Utility Dive)

COMMENTARY: Why uniting the western power grid “just makes sense.” (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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