OIL: BP will pay a $4 billion fine, the largest in U.S. history, for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill; and a Minnesota refinery plans a $400 million expansion. (Greenwire, Minneapolis Star Tribune)

WIND: Google announces a $75 million investment in an Iowa wind farm, invigorating calls for extension of the production tax credit; opponents of a Minnesota wind farm seek to have its permit revoked; and an Illinois county considers a plan to keep turbines farther from homes but allow them closer to property lines. (Des Moines Register, Rochester Post-Bulletin, Springfield State Journal-Register)

COAL: St. Louis-based Patriot Coal will put an immediate stop to mountaintop removal mining in an agreement with environmental groups. (Bloomberg Businessweek)

BIOENERGY: As Wisconsin shifts incentives to encourage more farm-based biodigesters, critics say one utility’s interconnection requirement is preventing projects from being built. (Midwest Energy News)

CLIMATE: ExxonMobil says it supports a carbon tax, as conservative groups remind House Republicans of a “no climate tax” pledge many of them have signed. (Bloomberg Businessweek, The Hill)

FRACKING: A new database creates a user-friendly format for scanning fracking chemical disclosures, and a Wisconsin frac sand mine is denied a zoning change for a fourth time. (Midwest Energy News, LaCrosse Tribune)

PIPELINES: ProPublica investigates weaknesses in our pipeline infrastructure, and a jury will determine how much a South Dakota landowner will be awarded for an easement for Keystone XL. (ProPublica, Sioux Falls Argus Leader)

TRANSPORTATION: GM says it plans to build 500,000 cars a year by 2017 that use some form of electrification technology, and a key milestone is reached in development of high speed rail between Chicago and St. Louis. (Reuters, Bloomington Pantagraph)

COMMENTARY: Newspapers in Topeka and Sioux City call for extension of the wind production tax credit, and the NRDC explains why even newer buildings can be prime candidates for efficiency upgrades. (Topeka Capital-Journal, Sioux City Journal, NRDC Switchboard)

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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