McClatchy: Oil Industry Raves About New Fracking Study; Environmentalists Are Suspect

Oil industry supporters rejoiced Thursday when a newly released draft of an Environmental Protection Agency report found no evidence that hydraulic fracturing does widespread damage to drinking water.

Oil industry advocates said the assessment finally confirmed that fracking is safe.

But environmental groups, which have long fought fracking techniques for allegedly damaging natural resources in pursuit of the fossil fuels that are producing global warming, claim the report’s preliminary conclusions are suspect.

Fortune: A Troubled Geothermal Plant Finds a Savior in Vinod Khosla

Less than a hundred miles east of Black Rock Desert, where hippies and techies frolic every year at the Burning Man festival, sits a remote, struggling geothermal power plant that taps into the hot rocks and water far beneath the surface of the Nevada desert to produce energy. The project -- originally built in 2009 and backed by the Department of Energy during the Recovery Act -- has been under-performing for years, causing financial hardship for its owner and concern on the part of its government supporters.

But as of last Thursday, the plant finally has a new owner with a new plan to get it back up and running at full capacity.

New York Times: Prices Are Down, but Saudis Keep Oil Flowing

The international cartel of oil producers has long followed the same basic strategy. When the market was soft, the group slashed production to raise prices.

But Saudi Arabia, the heavyweight of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, has a new agenda. It is now less concerned about the price of crude oil in the global markets and more concerned about delivering fuel to its growing economy.

The shift is upending the traditional market dynamics that have influenced the direction of oil prices for decades.

Climate Progress: The Tide Is Turning Against ALEC in the Renewable Energy Battle

Powerful interests are facing off on the future of renewable energy in North Carolina.

A bill to freeze the state’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS) -- a mandate on how much clean energy utilities have to use -- was shoved through committee last month, but despite a wide Republican majority (34-16), the bill hasn’t been brought to the Senate floor. Similar legislation has been introduced and shot down in past years.

Desert Sun: California Setting New Solar Records at Rapid Pace

California generated a record amount of solar power last week -- but don't expect the high mark to last long.

The state has already set 14 solar records this year, including the latest high of 6,078 megawatts of simultaneous solar generation. And experts expect a steady clip of new records over the next few months, as sunny summer weather kicks into full gear.