RENEWABLES: A new report says the costs of wind and solar power will continue to plummet over the next decade. (Bloomberg)

• Scientists say carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has surpassed 400 ppm, and is unlikely to fall below that level in our lifetimes. (Washington Post)
• The agriculture sector is responsible for a steadily growing amount of greenhouse gas emissions. (Climate Central)

• Describing it as a “floor rather than a ceiling,” some advocates say Nevada’s renewable energy standard may have outlived its usefulness. (KNPR)
• Rhode Island lawmakers are dropping clean-energy legislation, including a plan to expand net metering, over concerns about a provision benefiting a single wind developer. (Associated Press)

• Critics say an effort to connect California’s grid with neighboring states is more about profit than clean energy. (Los Angeles Times)
• Utilities are ramping up investments in battery storage startup companies as distributed generation grows. (Utility Dive)

UTILITIES: Utility executives gather in Chicago to embrace distributed generation but also to reaffirm their companies’ role as administrators of the grid. (Midwest Energy News)

• The U.S. Department of Energy announces $82 million for nuclear research projects in 28 states. (Associated Press)
• After stopping work on the project in 2013, Duke Energy is poised to secure a federal license for a new plant on Florida’s Gulf coast. (Politico)

• The EPA finalizes a rule banning disposal of drilling wastewater at public sewage plants. (NPR)
• Colorado researchers find emissions of methane, benzene and other compounds during oil and gas production. (Denver Post)
• Texas ranchers find they have little recourse when drillers spill wastewater on their land. (Houston Chronicle)

BIOFUELS: New research partially funded by the U.S. government says there is “no clear relationship between biofuels and higher prices that threaten access to food.” (Reuters)

• A Montana utility wants to pay a lower rate to small solar projects. (Billings Gazette)
• Solar panels are installed on the historic Massachusetts home where Henry David Thoreau was born. (Boston Globe)
• Solar arrays on farmland create tax complications in Vermont. (VT Digger)

WIND: Development of a major Wyoming wind project is on hold as the state considers increasing taxes on wind energy. (Wyoming Public Radio)

FINANCE: A new federal program lets homeowners use a long-term mortgage to finance clean energy improvements. (Washington Post)

• A Montana congressman pushes to give state and tribal governments more say over federal coal policy. (Billings Gazette)
• About 4,000 rally in Lexington, Kentucky calling on Congress to extend the federal health care benefits of retired miners. (Associated Press)

HYDRO: Energy discussions in Congress include plans to reform hydropower permitting. (E&E Daily)

• Ensuring solar is available to everyone and preventing potential cross-subsidization among customer classes are ways to develop a robust industry. (Midwest Energy News)
• The reality for Texas: Clean energy uses less water. (Breaking Energy)
• While energy transitions have typically been slow, the clean energy movement might be a lot faster. (Vox)

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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