OIL AND GAS: Two refiners agree to a record $425 million settlement that is expected to significantly reduce pollution in the West. (Los Angeles Times)

ALSO:
• An eight-year study says fracking may worsen asthma in children and adults who live near drilling sites. (Associated Press)
• Natural gas production begins at the Pittsburgh airport, in a deal that is expected to net $450 million in royalty payments. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
• Natural gas flaring is increasing again in North Dakota. (Prairie Public Broadcasting)

PIPELINES: Hundreds of miles of pipelines are under development in Texas to export natural gas to Mexico. (Bloomberg)

EFFICIENCY: One of the largest oil refineries in the Midwest is planning a $150 million combined heat and power project to add to its facility, along with new pollution controls to limit sulfur emissions. (Midwest Energy News)

TRANSPORTATION: It appears the U.S. will fall short of fuel-efficiency standards in vehicles that were championed by the Obama administration. (Washington Post)

COAL: Sampling results from coal dust monitors indicate a new regulation to protect miners appears to be working. (Lexington Herald-Leader)

UTILITIES:
• Regulators question whether an Arizona utility is relying too much on natural gas, putting consumers at risk if prices rise again. (Arizona Republic)
• Hawaii regulators reject a Florida utility’s proposed $2.63 billion takeover of Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. (Tampa Tribune)
• The CEOs of Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas defend their planned merger while clean energy advocates claim it would heighten risks to customers. (Charlotte Observer)

SOLAR:
• California set a new record last week with more than 8,000 MW of solar production. (Utility Dive / PV Magazine)
• Guam’s utility wants to review net metering, invoking a common argument that solar customers don’t pay for their share of the grid. (KUAM)
• After delays, a 5 MW solar project atop a Vermont landfill is moving forward. (VTDigger)
• An Idaho utility proposes a community solar project, which would also be the state’s first utility-scale solar array. (Associated Press)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: Participants in a panel discussion say New England states will meet climate targets regardless of the outcome of a court challenge to the Clean Power Plan. (RTO Insider)

POLITICS: A group of U.S. House Republicans seeking to take action on climate change are skipping this week’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland. (ClimateWire)

RESEARCH: The director of Iowa’s premier energy research center is resigning after a three-and-a-half-year tenure that was marked by pushback from utilities and lawmakers. (Associated Press)

COMMENTARY: “If anything, net-metering undervalues, not overvalues, the benefits of rooftop solar.” (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Ken Paulman

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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