NUCLEAR: A new report says the nation’s nuclear plants have a “ripped safety net,” as federal regulators fail to quickly identify small problems that could escalate into serious incidents. (Midwest Energy News)

ALSO: Plummeting prices for wind power make nuclear plants uneconomical, and Bill Gates says nuclear power is the way forward on climate change, “unless you think there is a miracle hidden in storage.” (Bloomberg, Reuters)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join Ensia Live in Minneapolis March 14 as futurist and Jamais Cascio speaks on life on Earth after we cut carbon emissions – with a live aerial arts performance by Ribnic Circus. Midwest Energy News readers enter “midwest2013″ for discount tickets.***

POLITICS: President Obama hosts an off-the-record meeting with energy experts and business leaders to discuss energy policy, and will speak at the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois later this week. (Washington Post)

COAL: Caterpiller announces it’s pulling out of the FutureGen “clean coal” project in Illinois. (Chicago Business Journal)

WIND: A study finds the generating capacity of large wind farms may be overestimated, and a proposed Wyoming project would use a hydraulic pump to store excess energy from wind turbines. (Climate Central, Casper Star-Tribune)

FRACKING: Two key Ohio Republicans oppose Gov. John Kasich’s plan to raise taxes on gas drilling, and a Michigan state legislator plans to host a town hall meeting to hear concerns about fracking. (Akron Beacon Journal,

CLIMATE: Shareholders push resolutions to require coal companies to disclose their financial risk if climate legislation is passed. (InsideClimate News)

OIL: A North Dakota sheriff resigns so he can work in the oil fields, and state officials are studying the impact of the oil boom on wildlife. (Dickinson Press, Fargo Forum)

ELECTRIC CARS: Tesla signs off on a plan to pay off its Energy Department loans five years ahead of schedule. (Detroit Free Press)

COMMENTARY: Thomas Friedman hopes we can “trade a lousy Keystone pipeline for some really good systemic responses to climate change.” (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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