COAL: A new vision emerges for Chicago’s retiring Fisk and Crawford coal plants, and EPA coal ash regulations remain stalled by politics. (Midwest Energy News, Washington Post)

POLITICS: North Dakota’s Democratic U.S. Senate candidate says President Obama is “headed in the wrong direction” on energy and calls for the heads of the EPA and Energy Dept. to be fired; and Mitt Romney pitches coal and nuclear in southern Ohio. (The Hill, Columbus Dispatch)

WIND: T. Boone Pickens drops out of Minnesota’s controversial Goodhue Wind project, a nearby Minnesota county will receive $1.2 million in tax revenue from its wind farms this year, a community college’s wind program sees 100% of its graduates land high-paying jobs, and bird advocates object to a proposed Ohio wind farm site. (Minneapolis Star Tribune, Rochester Post-Bulletin, Toledo Blade)

SOLAR: A Toledo Blade report attempts to link former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland’s political contributions to a state energy program, and the last of a series of solar installations on St. Paul public buildings is complete. (Toledo Blade, St. Paul Pioneer Press)

OIL: Opposition to Keystone XL fizzles in Nebraska, and construction begins on the new Enbridge pipeline in Michigan. (InsideClimate News, WLNS)

NUCLEAR: Economic concerns will likely further delay Xcel Energy’s proposed expansion of its Prairie Island nuclear plant in Minnesota. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

NORTH DAKOTA: More than 1.7 billion tons of North Dakota clay could be useful as fracking proppant, according to a state geologist; and formerly low-value rocky farmland in the state is sought for gravel mining to support the road construction boom. (Fargo Forum, Grand Forks Herald)

TEA’D OFF: Local officials grow weary of Agenda 21 conspiracy theorists. (Reuters)

COMMENTARY: Why the “war on coal” is a myth, why neither President Obama nor Mitt Romney is a true “friend of coal,” and “an assault on the solar industry becomes akin to sabotaging armaments factories during a mobilization for war.” (The Nation, Huffington Post, New York Times)

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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