ARKANSAS OIL SPILL: Arkansas’ attorney general launches an investigation as cleanup continues, and federal regulators issue a corrective order to Exxon. (CNN, Reuters)

MEANWHILE: InsideClimate News journalist Lisa Song reports from Mayflower that “Exxon is running the show here, with federal agencies so far publicly invisible.”

***SPONSORED LINK: The best Midwest clean energy startups vie for $250,000 in prizes at the 2013 Clean Energy Challenge April 4 in Chicago.***

MICHIGAN: Environmental groups call for an investigation of a spill of several hundred gallons of hydraulic fluid from a Lansing power plant into the Grand River. (

COAL: In Europe, coal makes a comeback as conventional natural gas runs out (“We do not have that many North Dakotas in Europe”), and Patriot Coal creditors seek permission to investigate whether the company’s formation was just a way for Peabody Energy to unload liabilities. (EnergyWire, Bloomberg)

WIND: A European study finds infrasound can affect functioning of the ear, but cautions that there’s not enough evidence to link wind turbines to health symptoms. (NPR)

SOLAR: A Michigan community-supported solar project proves more popular than anticipated, and increases the number of panels available in its initial phase; and utilities challenge net-metering policies in California. (Traverse City Record-Eagle, ClimateWire)

TRANSPORTATION: How new EPA rules for gasoline could slow the development of electric and alternative-fueled vehicles. (New York Times)

OIL: North Dakota’s Three Affiliated Tribes will break ground this spring on a new $400 million refinery, and an Ohio town rejects plans to expand an oil production facility. (Associated Press, Toledo Blade)

FRACKING: Ohio environmental and industry groups say they were left out of a coalition that recently announced voluntary best practices for drilling, and environmentalists say pipeline construction to support the drilling boom is disrupting wildlife habitat. (Columbus Dispatch, Associated Press)

FRAC SAND: South Dakota geologists search the Black Hills for sand suitable for fracking. (Rapid City Journal)

POLITICS: Why Exelon is no longer seen as a friend to environmental groups, a Pew Research Center poll finds strong support for Keystone XL as well as increasing concern about climate change., a California billionaire seeks to “destroy” political candidates who don’t take climate change seriously, and EPA’s regulatory office strains under budget cuts. (Bloomberg, The Hill, Greenwire)

NUCLEAR: The NRC gives its annual assessment on Michigan’s Palisades nuclear plant, assuring neighbors the facility is safe. (

ILLINOIS: Some towns that voted for municipal electricity aggregation will soon see rates higher than what they would have paid to ComEd. (Crain’s Chicago Business)

TRANSMISSION: Wisconsin lawmakers advance a bill that would allow ATC to make investments outside the state, and Minnesota Power completes a $35 million transmission upgrade to support a taconite facility. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Duluth News Tribune)

COMMENTARY: How Greensburg, Kansas recovered from a devastating tornado to become a model of energy sustainability. (Grist)


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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