EPA, ENERGY: As anticipated, President Obama nominated Gina McCarthy to lead the EPA and Ernest Moniz to head the Department of Energy. Obama pledges the nominees will ensure “that we’re doing everything that we can to combat the threat of climate change.” (New York Times)

ALSO: Both nominees are expected to be supporters of expanding the natural gas industry. (Bloomberg)

***SPONSORED LINK: Register Now for the 2013 Sustainability Summit & Exposition, March 6-8 in Milwaukee. Keynote speakers include Will Allen, Ed Begley, Jr., Dr. James Hansen and Michael Mann. (Read more about the event in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) ***

KEYSTONE XL: Environmental activists say a recent State Department review is inadequate and erroneously underestimates the carbon impact of oil sands mining. (EnergyWire)

TRANSMISSION: How utilities are dealing with the challenge of adding more distributed energy to the grid. (Midwest Energy News)

WIND: The countdown resumes for the expiration of the federal production tax credit, and proposed tax breaks for wind development in Nebraska run into political opposition. (Politico, Omaha World-Herald)

FRAC SAND: Nearly a fifth of Wisconsin’s frac sand mining operations were cited for environmental infractions last year. (Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism)

FRACKING: A company plans to help meet water demand for drilling operations in Ohio by purifying wastewater from coal mines. (Columbus Business First)

CLIMATE: Great Lakes communities ponder an ice-free future, and climate science makes inroads into school curriculum. (ClimateWire, InsideClimate News)

BIOMASS: A bill in the Minnesota Legislature would require Xcel Energy to pay more for energy from two biomass plants in the northern part of the state. (Duluth News Tribune)

COMMENTARY: Ending the energy “Stone Age,” and other lessons from this year’s ARPA-E conference. (Midwest Energy News)

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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