OIL: An accident at BP’s Whiting refinery just outside Chicago spills oil into Lake Michigan, affecting about a half-mile of shoreline. (Chicago Tribune, Associated Press)

ALSO: Cleanup of an oil spill at an Ohio nature preserve is expected to take another week; the fire chief of Casselton, North Dakota testifies before Congress on oil train safety; and Exxon withholds key information as it prepares to restart an Arkansas pipeline. (Columbus Dispatch, Fargo Forum, InsideClimate News)

***SPONSORED LINK: The 2014 Clean Energy Challenge business plan competition on April 3 awards $500,000 in prizes to innovative Midwest clean tech startups! Hear keynote speakers David Crane and Tom Steyer. Use code “MEN_Newsletter” & register today! ***

WIND: An appeals court upholds Wisconsin’s wind siting rules, rejecting a challenge from realtors and other groups calling for a study on housing impacts; and debate continues over an Illinois bill that would place wind siting authority with the state. (Associated Press, Rock River Times)

KANSAS: The state Senate approves a bill to repeal the state’s renewable energy standard. (Topeka Capital-Journal)

OHIO: Renewable energy advocates say a think-tank’s grade of C+ for Ohio doesn’t tell the whole story. (Midwest Energy News)

SOLAR: Minnesota regulators hear arguments pitting a proposed solar project against natural gas to meet a utility’s peak generating needs. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

TESLA: Ohio auto dealers reach a compromise that will allow Tesla to open three stores in the state. (Columbus Dispatch)

EFFICIENCY: LED bulb prices are expected to rival incandescents by 2020, and an Indiana utility says it will continue investing in efficiency even if a state standard is repealed. (Greentech Media, Fort Wayne News-Sentinel)

COAL: Black Hills power closes a unit at a Wyoming coal plant, a worker is killed on the job at an Indiana coal mine, and the House votes to halt new coal-mining rules. (Casper Star-Tribune, Associated Press, The Hill)

NUCLEAR: Engineers examine concrete at the Davis-Besse nuclear plant in Ohio to determine whether it is safe. (Toledo Blade)

WASTE TO ENERGY: A court rules Green Bay officials acted improperly when they revoked a tribe’s permit to build a waste-to-energy plant, and Wisconsin-based InSinkErator develops a system to convert food waste into energy. (Green Bay Press-Gazette, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

STORAGE: A project in Nevada uses rail cars rolling up and down a hill to store energy. (ClimateWire)

***SPONSORED LINK: Attend “Solar Powering Illinois” on April 8.  Sessions on shared solar, IL RPS, solar in municipal aggregation and more. Keynotes include Dr. Elaine Ulrich, U.S. DOE, and Mike Hornitschek, StraightUp Solar. NABCEP credits provided.***

MEDIA: An Iowa political operative plans a new news and commentary site focused on energy and technology issues. (Des Moines Register)

COMMENTARY: An update on utilities’ progress on energy efficiency, and how Illinois can continue to grow its electric vehicle infrastructure. (NRDC Switchboard, Crain’s Chicago Business)

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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