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POLITICS: Pope Francis’s upcoming visit to the U.S. will complicate some politicians’ stances on climate change: “brushing off the pope is another matter.” (ClimateWire)

OHIO: Staff at the state Public Utilities Commission say FirstEnergy’s “bailout” request should be denied. (Columbus Business First)

• Solar backers seek the recusal of three Arizona regulators on an upcoming rate case. (Phoenix Business Journal)
• Changes to California’s net metering rules could create new tax liabilities for the solar industry. (Greentech Media)
• A North Carolina mosque seeks to be one of the first in the country to install solar power. (Treehugger)
• A Texas brewery creates a tribute to the Alamo out of solar panels. (Scientific American)

CLEAN ENERGY: The Pentagon is betting heavily on securing energy from solar and wind energy projects. (The Washington Post)

NORTH CAROLINA: A final budget deal seals the fate of the state’s renewable energy tax credit: it will expire at year’s end. (SNL)

NRG Energy is scaling back its ambitious renewable energy plans to focus on its traditional power generation business. (The Wall Street Journal)
• As long-term power purchase agreements come to an end, Nebraska’s unique public power system is facing increased competition from alternative suppliers. (Midwest Energy News)
FirstEnergy’s fighting for a regulated market in Ohio is an “ironic turn of events” compared to its position in the early 2000s. (Public Radio International)
• A Nebraska utility is looking to shift the way it collects revenue with a higher monthly fixed charge and lower usage charges. (Lincoln Journal Star)

NATURAL GAS: In response to shifting fuel needs, New Hampshire regulators make it easier for utilities to buy space on natural gas pipelines. (New Hampshire Public Radio)

Strengthened federal pipeline safety rules will be released by the end of the month following a recent surge in accidents. (Associated Press)
An Oklahoma man’s death shows a lack of understanding of the dangers of working at oil and gas sites. (EnergyWire)

Following a win in Colorado, an environmental group plans to challenge permits for more Western coal mines on climate grounds. (Associated Press)
At a meeting of coal industry officials, good news about the future is hard to come by. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
Wisconsin families believe their health is deteriorating due to living near coal plants. (WTMJ-TV)

POLLUTION: The U.S. EPA accuses Volkswagen of intentionally violating clean-air standards with software that overrides cars’ emission controls. (Associated Press)

ELECTRIC CARS: The Los Angeles Police Department is testing a donated Tesla Model S as a pursuit vehicle. (Greentech Media)

COMMENTARY: What would Reagan do about climate change? (Huffington Post)

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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