Capitol Media Services: Regulators May Question Utilities About "Dark Money," AG Rules

State utility regulators have a legal right to question company executives about whether they secretly funneled money into political campaigns, Attorney General Mark Brnovich said today.

In a formal legal opinion, Brnovich sided with Corporation Commissioner Bob Burns, who has been trying for months to get Arizona Public Service to open its books to show political donations. When efforts to secure voluntary compliance failed, Burns made an official demand.

APS refused. And attorney Mary O’Grady, writing to Burns on behalf of utility investors, said the power of commissioners to inspect utilities’ books is limited. So Burns asked Brnovich to take a look.

ClimateWire: Clean Power What? Most Americans Haven't Heard of Climate Rule

The Obama administration's Clean Power Plan, considered by many to be the most far-reaching climate regulation ever set forth by the U.S. government, has barely registered in the minds of most American voters.

A new national poll found 7 in 10 voters have heard "just a little or nothing at all" about EPA's regulation to rein in carbon emissions from power plants.

In a different poll of Texas voters that was also released yesterday, 85 percent of respondents surveyed had not "seen, read or heard of a federal policy called the Clean Power Plan."

Portland Press Herald: Republican States Benefiting From Shift to Wind and Solar Energy

While Republican lawmakers in Washington have fought to protect coal-fired power plants, opposing President Barack Obama’s efforts to curtail climate-warming carbon emissions, data show their home states are often the ones benefiting most from the nation’s accelerating shift to renewable energy.

Leading the way in new wind projects are Republican strongholds Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas, home to some of the leading critics of climate science and renewable energy incentives in Congress. Republican-dominated North Carolina trails only California in newsolarfarms, thanks largely to pro-renewables polices enacted years ago under a Democratic legislature.

Vox: Solar Power Is Contagious. These Maps Show How It Spreads.

Rooftop solar is expanding rapidly in the United States -- by some estimates, a new system goes up every four minutes. There are plenty of reasons for that, from falling prices to generous federal subsidies to innovative leasing schemes.

But there's another, little-discussed factor here: Residential solar power is contagious. Yep, contagious. Studies have found that if you install solar photovoltaic panels on your roof, that increases the odds that your neighbors will install their own panels.

Reuters: Shift in Saudi Oil Thinking Deepens OPEC Split

As OPEC officials gathered this week to formulate a long-term strategy, few in the room expected the discussions would end without a clash. But even the most jaded delegates got more than they had bargained with.

"OPEC is dead," declared one frustrated official, according to two sources who were present or briefed about the Vienna meeting.

This was far from the first time that OPEC's demise has been proclaimed in its 56-year history, and the oil exporters' group itself may yet enjoy a long life in the era of cheap crude.