OIL AND GAS: U.S. refiners seek alternatives to Canadian oil sands crude as production plummets in the aftermath of Alberta’s wildfires. (Reuters, New York Times)

• The EPA is set to issue today the first federal standards aimed at curbing methane emissions. (Wall Street Journal)
• A new study says the Bakken oil field leaks 275,000 tons of methane each year. (Associated Press)
• The “golden era” of high profits for refiners is coming to an end. (Reuters)

• Proposed pipeline regulations in North Dakota are pitting environmental groups and landowners against an oil industry that says the rules would be too onerous in challenging times. (EnergyWire) 
• Ongoing legal challenges to Keystone XL are directed at President Obama’s authority to reject the pipeline. (Washington Post)

CONGRESS: The Senate moves closer to passing a $37 billion energy bill. (The Hill)

• The Energy Information Administration projects 2016 to see the largest annual decline in coal usage since record keeping began in 1949. (SNL Energy)
• Republicans in Congress criticize proposed cuts in federal spending for coal research. (Houston Chronicle)
• A report says co-ops’ investments in coal will increasingly put them in financial risk. (Electric Co-op Today)
• Montana’s governor meets with owners of a major coal plant to discuss the facility’s future. (Billings Gazette)

• The EIA projects renewables will see the largest growth among energy sources through 2040. (The Hill)
• Critics say proposed changes to Vermont’s renewable energy credit market could backfire. (VTDigger)

• Climate activists drive FERC chairman Norman Bay from the stage at a conference in New York. (Albany Times Union)
• The idea of cap-and-trade started as a modest proposal by an economist in the late 1960s. (ClimateWire)
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation divests its $187 million stake in BP. (The Guardian)
• New York and California pension fund leaders urge Exxon investors to back a climate disclosure measure. (Reuters)

• A New Jersey utility plans to spend $275 million building solar arrays on landfills and brownfields. (MyCentralJersey)
• A Florida homeowner perseveres in his bid to unplug his solar-powered home from the local utility, which is against the law there. (WFTV)

HYDRO: FERC issues its first new hydropower permit under a new process aimed at streamlining permitting. (PennEnergy)

• A new infrastructure report recommends $177 billion in additional grid spending over the next decade. (Greentech Media)
• Winners of an MIT prize focus on finding ways to improve communication among different elements in microgrids. (InsideClimate News)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Nevada’s state treasurer raises concerns about financial backing for a new $1 billion Faraday electric car plant. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

COMMENTARY: Why taxpayers could be stuck with the bill for coal mine cleanup. (The Conversation)

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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