POLITICS: Ohio’s fracking boom is seen as a boost for President Obama in this key swing state, the Democratic platform will likely call for participation in an international climate agreement, and why an electric car advocate is among Mitt Romney’s closest advisors. (Bloomberg, The Hill, InsideClimate News)

WIND: The innovative new corkscrew design of a wind generator atop Cleveland’s Progressive Field is generating 4.5 times more power than if the turbines were standing alone, and a Duluth-based utility’s new renewable energy division gets its first wind farm approved in North Dakota. (Cleveland Plain Dealer, Minneapolis Star Tribune)

SOLAR: An innovative Indianapolis municipal solar program may shut down if a local utility ends its feed-in tariffs; and in a Q&A, a Minnesota entrepreneur says the solar industry could thrive if it received permanent tax breaks like the oil and gas sector. (Midwest Energy News, Minneapolis Star Tribune)

COAL: A history of the Crawford and Fisk coal plants, as well as the neighborhood activist movement that helped shut them down. (Chicago Tribune)

OIL: A survey finds only 17 percent of North Dakotans say the oil boom has improved their quality of life; communities along Enbridge’s planned pipeline expansion in Michigan seek additional safeguards, likely to no avail; and North Dakota utilities call for rule changes as “call before you dig” requests soar. (Fargo Forum, Detroit Free Press, Associated Press)

NATURAL GAS: A Minnesota bus manufacturer installs a $1 million CNG fueling station, and Frito-Lay’s Beloit, Wisconsin factory begins converting its truck fleet to natural gas. (St. Cloud Times, Rockford Register Star)

NUCLEAR: Minnesota’s Prairie Island Indian Community wants the federal government to come up with a permanent solution for radioactive waste from a nearby nuclear plant. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

MICHIGAN: The Michigan Electric Cooperative Association joins a group opposing a ballot measure that would strengthen the state’s renewable energy standard. (The News-Herald)

ILLINOIS: The Bloomington Pantagraph launches a five-part series on the state’s energy industry, starting with oil, coal, nuclear and ethanol. A final installment, on wind, comes out tomorrow.

COMMENTARY: How wind energy is providing a lifeline to drought-stricken farms, and is the Chevy Volt alive or dead? (Huffington Post, CNET)

CONGRATULATIONS: Electric motorcycle enthusiast and Midwest Energy News contributor Kevin Clemens has set a new land speed record for his weight class at the Bonneville Salt Flats. (St. Paul Pioneer Press)

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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