‘Unintended consequences’ have green groups cooling to ethanol

BIOFUELS: "Severe, unintended consequences" of expanded corn production are causing environmental groups to change their position on ethanol mandates. (Bloomberg)

POLITICS:
• The Republican and Democratic party platforms spell out drastic differences on energy, but to what extent do they drive policy? (InsideClimate News)
• Activist Tom Steyer says climate concerns will drive turnout among younger voters. (ClimateWire)

VW SCANDAL: A judge gives temporary approval to a settlement that could offer thousands in compensation for owners of VW diesel cars involved in the company's emissions-cheating scheme. (USA Today)

CLIMATE: Rising sea levels and tidal flooding threaten 18 military bases along the East Coast and Gulf Coast, according to a new report.

Federal permits clear the way for contested Iowa pipeline

ELECTRIC CARS: A Michigan utility plans a $15 million buildout of electric vehicle chargers; critics are concerned the plan could drive out private sector competitors. (Midwest Energy News)

PIPELINES:
• The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approves 60 river crossings for the Dakota Access pipeline in Iowa, clearing the way for construction. (Associated Press)
• Ohio residents plan to protest a proposed new natural gas pipeline. (WCPO)

UTILITIES:
• FirstEnergy's stock is downgraded as the utility pursues "bailouts" for power plants and faces tougher competition. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
• Critics of Ohio utilities "bailout" plans are not letting up as the plans are modified to avoid federal review.

Maine’s governor proposes ending net metering

SOLAR:
• Maine's governor proposes ending net metering after a three-year "grandfather" period. (Maine Public Broadcasting)
• A liberal New York congresswoman explains why she partnered with a utility industry group on a letter opposing net metering. (Grist)
• San Diego cancels five projects with SunEdison amid the company's bankruptcy. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

COAL:
• A federal bankruptcy judge says Peabody Energy can still face mine reclamation requirements as it moves through bankruptcy. (Midwest Energy News)
• Wyoming's governor signs an agreement to partner with a consortium of Japanese companies to research "clean" coal technologies.

New England power plant owners fight gas pipeline plans

PIPELINES: Owners of New England power plants, who benefit from current high electricity prices, push back at efforts to expand natural gas pipeline capacity. (Portland Press Herald)

SOLAR:
• A solar project at a defunct New York nuclear plant is under fire over plans to cut down 350 acres of trees. (Associated Press)
• A Texas utility agrees to drop a proposed fee for solar customers. (Texas Observer)
• A judge advises against an Arizona co-ops plans to increase charges on solar customers. (Arizona Daily Star)

COAL: An Ohio utility says it will close four of the seven units at a power plant at the center of its proposed "bailout" request by 2020.

Amid policy debate, Nevada leads U.S. in per capita solar

SOLAR:
• Nevada led the nation in solar generation per capita last year, according to a new report. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
• A major credit rating agency renews warnings that inaction on solar net metering policies could lead to a “death spiral” for utilities. (SNL / Utility Dive)
• Minnesota regulators adopt a “value of solar” approach to community solar rates, though developers are still concerned over project size caps. (Midwest Energy News)

COAL:
• A new report predicts coal jobs will continue to decline regardless of what happens with the Clean Power Plan. (High Country News)
• How Utah coal interests pushed a plan for an export terminal in California.

Report: ‘Redlining’ of California nuclear plant led to its demise

NUCLEAR:
• A report finds operators exceeded pressure and temperature limits at California's San Onofre nuclear plant, causing damage that led to the plant's 2012 closure. (San Diego Union-Tribune)
• Nuclear subsidies will be a key part of New York's clean energy plan. (New York Times)

POLITICS:
• Conservative groups are pushing back against the Republican party's denial of climate change. (The Guardian)
• A North Dakota congressman and self-identified climate skeptic has emerged as one of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s key energy advisers. (Midwest Energy News)
• The Republican Mayor of Carmel, Indiana and a pledged delegate at the Republican National Convention has for years maintained a climate-friendly agenda.

Feds remove obstacle to PACE financing for homeowners

POLITICS: While some participants at the Republican National Convention push for a conservative clean-energy approach, the party's platform would undo decades of climate and energy policy. (Midwest Energy News, New York Times)

ALSO:
• A group that fights pollution rules on behalf of utilities remains shrouded in secrecy. (SNL Energy)
• An oil executive says the industry does better under Democratic presidents. (Forbes)

EFFICIENCY: Overturning a major obstacle to clean energy financing for homeowners, federal housing agencies will now allow PACE financing on homes with federally backed mortgages. (Bloomberg)

POLLUTION:
• Attorneys general in three states file lawsuits accusing Volkswagen executives of knowingly participating for years in schemes to thwart pollution tests.

Record federal settlement to clean up Western refineries

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.

Is installing solar an act of religious expression?

SOLAR: A Massachusetts church challenges local officials' rejection of its solar plan, arguing it impinges on religious freedom. (Boston Globe)

ALSO:
• Agreement within the utility industry on how to further democratize distributed energy “appears elusive.” (Utility Dive)
• Solar installers say a California utility's plan would make rooftop solar accessible only to the very wealthy. (Palm Springs Desert Sun)

WIND: A New York utility pursues an offshore wind project off Long Island that would be the nation's largest. (Bloomberg)

NUCLEAR:
• An industry group says Massachusetts' push for clean energy could put New England's last nuclear plants out of business. (Bloomberg)
• A report finds the Department of Energy fails to protect whistleblowers from retaliation.

GOP, activists escalate fight over Exxon climate disclosures

CLIMATE: A new poll finds increasing public concern about climate change. (InsideClimate News)

ALSO:
• A Republican-led U.S. House panel subpoenas two state attorneys general and eight environmental and legal groups amid their investigations into whether Exxon Mobil misled investors on climate change risks; environmental groups respond by seeking more information on lawmakers' relationships with oil companies. (Reuters, The Hill)
• Senate Democrats confront the "many-headed dragon" of organizations denying climate science. (Huffington Post)

CONGRESS: Rep. Fred Upton says an energy bill is unlikely to emerge from Congress before the election. (The Hill)

GRID:
• A bill in the U.S. Senate would offer tax credits for energy storage.