POLITICS: A new survey by GOP pollsters shows 54 percent of self-described conservative Republicans believe the world’s climate is changing and mankind is playing a role. (New York Times)

• A leading “clean coal” lobbying shop is cutting half its staff and reorganizing to reflect the U.S. coal industry’s market losses. (Politico)
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is pushing to divest the city’s pension fund from coal. (Associated Press)

• Amazon secures approval for its planned 80 megawatt solar system on Virginia’s Eastern Shore peninsula. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
A closer look at California’s utility-solar fight. (Palm Springs Desert Sun)
• Across the country, utilities are getting into the rooftop solar market and competing with small-scale installers. (Associated Press)
A Pennsylvania company helps connect solar developers with land. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

CLIMATE: Public lands may become an increasingly important carbon sink. (Climate Central)

POLLUTION: One estimate of a death toll from Volkswagen’s higher diesel emissions approaches those killed by GM’s ignition defect: 124 lives lost. (New York Times)

• Multiple factors contributed to Shell’s decision to pull out of the Arctic. (New York Times)
• Why it’s getting harder for oil companies to make money. (Mother Jones)

• Experts from academia and industry issue guidelines for states dealing with fracking and earthquakes. (Associated Press)
Indiana is studying whether fracking or related activities could cause earthquakes in the state. (Associated Press)

WIND: Connecticut’s first utility scale wind farm is nearly complete. (North American Windpower)

TRANSMISSION: Oregon farmers are hoping to persuade the Navy to allow a transmission to be sited on a bombing range easement instead of crossing farmland. (Capital Press)

• Opponents of a rate-guarantee proposal by AEP say the plan could cost ratepayers $2.5 billion through 2024. (Columbus Business First)
• A panel discussion led by former FERC chair Jon Wellinghoff discusses the utility of the future. (Utility Dive)

COMMENTARY: Among global political parties, the U.S. Republican Party is the lone outlier in denying climate science. Why? (New York Magazine)

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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