OIL BY RAIL: Advocates across the U.S. continue to pressure officials to shut down oil trains, three years after a deadly accident in Quebec. (Grist, Associated Press)

RENEWABLES: The economics of developing renewable energy is “growing more attractive for states across the political divide.” (The Atlantic)

CLIMATE:
• A Republican U.S. House chairman threatens to subpoena attorneys general and environmental groups that are investigating Exxon Mobil’s climate change activities. (The Hill)
• Author and climate scientist Michael Mann discusses his forthcoming book, a satire on climate denial. (Midwest Energy News)

OIL AND GAS:
• Due in part to low oil prices, California’s gasoline consumption has increased despite Gov. Jerry Brown’s pledge to cut gas use in half by 2030. (San Francisco Chronicle)
• A Texas regulator says small oil and gas companies would be hit the hardest by new U.S. EPA methane emission rules. (Houston Chronicle)
• Another leak was detected but quickly shut down at the same California natural gas storage facility that leaked methane for months before being capped. (Los Angeles Daily News)

WIND: The Northeast’s grid operator uses forecasting to better integrate wind generation into regional grid. (Portland Press Herald)

SOLAR:
• A Maine utility plans to get one-fifth of its electric supply through a new solar contract, though observers say the state is lacking compared to the region. (Bangor Daily News, Portland Press Herald)
• After a boom, a large majority of solar companies in Hawaii are reporting job losses. (Pacific Business News)

TRANSPORTATION: Electric vehicle makers cry foul over California’s efforts to reduce vehicle emissions, saying the state is changing the rules in the middle of the game. (Bloomberg)

NUCLEAR: California regulators may reopen the settlement case involving the closing of the San Onofre nuclear plant that left customers with a $3.3 billion bill. (KPBS)

POLITICS: Democrats are split over how aggressive U.S. climate policy should be, though they pledge to support workers in the fossil fuel sector. (Christian Science Monitor, E&E Daily)

STORAGE: Advocates want New York to pursue 4 gigawatts of battery capacity by 2030 as a way to meet the state’s emission-reduction goals. (Utility Dive)

COAL: Texas regulators unanimously approve plans that will expand a coal mine near the U.S.-Mexico border. (Texas Tribune)

DIVESTMENT: University of Utah officials rebuff efforts to get the school to stop investing in fossil fuels. (Associated Press)

UTILITIES: Energy companies are in the midst of a vocabulary project that emphasizes words customers can more easily understand rather than industry jargon. (EnergyWire)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: Louisiana’s environmental chief prepares to comply with the Clean Power Plan while the state sues to block it. (Bloomberg)

FINANCE: After a slow start, Property Assessed Clean Energy financing is picking up in Florida. (Southeast Energy News)

GRID: Updating the U.S. power grid to accommodate new technology is an ambitious, daunting undertaking that would cost hundreds of billions of dollars. (ClimateWire)

COMMENTARY:
• After the recent sentencing of Don Blankenship, coal executives are “actually suddenly concerned about this weird thing where a wealthy coal executive was deemed to be responsible for the things that happened on his watch.” (Huffington Post)
• Shutting down California’s last nuclear plant is politically motivated and an opportunity for a utility to boost profits. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

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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