EFFICIENCY: Chicago and Kansas City are among ten cities chosen for a national effort, backed by Michael Bloomberg and major nonprofits and philanthropies, aimed at cutting $1 billion in energy costs. (Chicago Sun-Times, Kansas City Star, Greentech Media)

ALSO: Illinois regulators say the state’s largest utility needs to overhaul its three-year plan to be more aggressive on energy efficiency. (Crain’s Chicago Business)

***SPONSORED LINK: The 2014 Clean Energy Challenge business plan competition awards over $500,000 in prizes to the Midwest’s best clean tech researchers, entrepreneurs and students! Early bird tickets available. Presented by Clean Energy Trust. #StartUpNow***

PROPANE: Is ethanol production to blame? The weather? Experts say there is no simple explanation for this winter’s propane shortages. (Midwest Energy News)

WIND: An Ohio Air Force base suspends plans for a wind turbine amid objections from wildlife groups. (Toledo Blade)

COAL: A St. Louis ballot measure, specifically targeting Peabody Coal, would block tax incentives for any company engaging in “unsustainable” energy production. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

BAKKEN: A North Dakota task force recommends requiring drillers to submit natural gas capture plans in advance among other measures to reduce flaring in the state’s oil patch. (Fargo Forum)

DEREGULATION: Efforts are advancing in Indiana and Michigan to increase competition amid concerns about high electricity rates. (EnergyWire)

BIOFUELS: The Farm Bill includes a provision eliminating subsidies for blender pumps, and the EPA has received more than 15,000 public comments on the Renewable Fuel Standard. (Reuters, Sioux Falls Argus Leader)

FRACKING: Ohio’s attorney general seeks dismissal of an appeal by anti-fracking groups seeking to block construction of a wastewater injection well. (Columbus Dispatch)

CLIMATE: Seventeen foundations controlling $1.8 billion announce plans to divest from fossil fuels. (New York Times)

SOLAR: PolitiFact examines President Obama’s claim of a new solar installation every four minutes, and rates it true.

TRANSPORTATION: An Iowa legislative panel approves a measure to raise the state’s gasoline tax 10 cents per gallon, although Gov. Terry Branstad isn’t embracing the idea; and oil traffic is causing major delays for Amtrak trains. (Cedar Rapids Gazette, Quad-City Times, The Hill)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Yesterday’s digest omitted a link to a story about efforts to establish a sugar beet biofuel industry in North Dakota.

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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