POLITICS: In a Q&A with Midwest Energy News, a Missouri Republican explains his transition from renewable energy skeptic to a self-described “green champion.”

FRACKING: Geologists now say a total of 12 earthquakes were recorded near an Ohio fracking site, though no connection has been definitively made to drilling activity; activists are drawing connections to a series of quakes in Youngstown in 2011 and 2012. (Columbus Dispatch, Youngstown Vindicator)

***SPONSORED LINK: The 2014 Clean Energy Challenge business plan competition on April 3 awards $500,000 in prizes to innovative Midwest clean tech startups! Hear keynote speakers David Crane and Tom Steyer. Use code “MEN_Newsletter” & register today! ***

COAL: Indiana officials say a controversial coal-to-gas plant is consuming more energy than it produces; a Wisconsin utility will shut down its two oldest coal-fired units; and opponents of an Illinois coal mine blockade a road to stop workers from logging on the site, work they say lacks required permits. (Indianapolis Business Journal, Green Bay Press-Gazette, Huffington Post)

COAL ASH: Emails show North Carolina regulators collaborated with Duke Energy on excluding citizens from coal ash discussions; Duke proposes moving millions of tons of coal ash to Charlotte’s airport; and lawmakers plan bills to force Duke to close its coal ash ponds, among other measures. (New York Times, Charlotte Observer, Raleigh News & Observer)

UTILITIES: Dayton Power & Light may sell off all of its Ohio generating capacity by 2017. (Dayton Business Journal)

SOLAR: Iowa lawmakers advance a bill expanding funding for solar tax credits, Best Buy will offer solar arrays in 60 stores, and a poll finds 75 percent of homeowners want utilities to ease roadblocks to solar. (Associated Press, Silicon Valley Business Journal, Greentech Media)

OIL: Flooding poses risks for North Dakota oil wells, the International Energy Agency credits production in U.S. and Canada for easing pressure on oil supplies, and oil shipments by rail increased 83 percent in 2013. (Bismarck Tribune, Wall Street Journal, Associated Press)

CLIMATE: Sen. Robert Menendez presses the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to clarify its position on climate change during a hearing on Keystone XL. (Greenwire)

***SPONSORED LINK: Attend “Solar PV Systems and the NEC Code” with John Wiles April 7 in Palatine, Illinois. Inspector & Installer continuing education credits available. FREE for ISEA members! Join and receive all the member benefits at illinoissolar.org.***

WASTE-TO-ENERGY: A Wisconsin biodigester records its third manure spill in six months, and a Wisconsin tribe is sued for $400 million over a failed waste-to-energy venture. (Channel 3000, Green Bay Press-Gazette)

COMMENTARY: Why Indiana should keep its energy efficiency law. (Indianapolis Star)

NOTE TO READERS: Yesterday’s digest omitted a link to a story about comments by Murray Energy’s CEO on Illinois Basin coal potential. The story can be found here.

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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