• Trains carrying crude oil will soon be rolling through the Columbia River Gorge again for the first time since a fiery derailment in early June. (Associated Press)
• A Washington state agency opposes a proposed oil-by-rail terminal in Vancouver over risks from increased traffic. (Associated Press)

SOLAR: A San Diego utility will likely be the first to reach California’s cap on customers who can participate in net metering. (PV Tech)

• A California utility’s plan to close the state’s last nuclear plant was the result of a “confluence of progressive state policies.” (ClimateWire)
• Federal nuclear regulators assure the public that it will not lessen its oversight of the plant despite the announcement to close it. (San Luis Obispo Tribune)

• The retirement of coal and nuclear plants in New England is leading to more natural gas and renewables. (SNL / Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis)
• Under a new filing by grid operator MISO, Upper Peninsula ratepayers would be on the hook for nearly $50 million in costs for the operation of aging coal plants there in 2014-2015. (Midwest Energy News)
• A Colorado community is in “turmoil” after Peabody Energy misses a $1.2 million tax payment. (Denver Post)
• The drop in coal production pushes carbon emissions low enough that the U.S. could achieve its 2030 emissions goals this year. (Forbes)

EFFICIENCY: New software in advanced thermostats could coordinate with utilities’ time-of-use pricing. (Washington Post)

• A law professor says she is frustrated that opponents of the Obama administration’s fracking rules misinterpreted her work in fighting against the policy. (E&E Daily)
• The CEO of a company looking to start a fracking operation beneath the Cook Inlet in Alaska says there would be no harm to endangered beluga whales. (Associated Press)
• Rural Pennsylvania landowners feel left behind by state regulators as drinking-water problems persist. (Center for Public Integrity)
• Proposed changes to Maryland’s fracking regulations are opposed by environmental groups and the energy industry. (Baltimore Sun)

BIOFUELS: Congressional lawmakers from both parties line up to criticize the U.S. EPA’s ethanol mandate. (The Hill)

• The oil industry downturn is impacting the once-booming region of eastern New Mexico. (Associated Press)
• Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski says a federal agency is emphasizing the points of view of anti-Arctic drilling activists over others. (Alaska Dispatch News)
• Documents show U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito sold his shares of Exxon Mobil worth up to $250,000; Alito had previously recused himself from cases involving the company. (Reuters)

EFFICIENCY: A Virginia startup aims to create a green score for existing homes. (Southeast Energy News)

TRANSMISSION: Xcel Energy plans a $400 million transmission line between Texas and New Mexico. (Associated Press)

MERGERS: Shareholders approve TransCanada’s $13 billion acquisition of a Houston-based pipeline group. (Houston Business Journal)

2010 BP OIL SPILL: About $8.7 million of penalties from the Gulf spill are to be spent on filling canals in a Louisiana preserve originally dug by oil explorers after World War II. (WWL)

• California’s cap-and-trade program “keeps on ticking as it was designed to, defying its critics.” (Los Angeles Times)
• California Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to cut petroleum use 50 percent by 2030 may be in trouble. (Sacramento Bee)
• Managing your home energy use is “still more of a hassle and expense than most homeowners want to take on.” (Vox)

Andy Balaskovitz

Andy Balaskovitz

Andy has been a journalism fellow for Midwest Energy News since 2014, following four years at City Pulse, Lansing’s alt-weekly newspaper. He covers the state of Michigan and also compiles the Midwest Energy News daily email digest. Andy is a graduate of Michigan State University’s Journalism School, where he focused on topics covered by the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism and wrote for the Great Lakes Echo. He was the 2008 and 2009 recipient of the Edward Meeman Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Environmental Journalism at Michigan State.

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