POLITICS: Environmentalists and Tea Party conservatives are finding more common ground. (Politico)

ENERGIEWENDE: A delegation of Chicago energy experts finds hope, as well as cautionary tales, for the Midwest from Germany’s renewable energy transition. (Midwest Energy News)

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SOLAR: The U.S. has 43,000 MW in solar projects in the planning stage, a new website will make it easier for consumers to shop for solar panels, and a newspaper investigation finds “tens of millions of dollars were wasted” in Ohio’s push for solar manufacturing. (Quartz, Reuters, Toledo Blade)

• Most tank cars hauling crude oil do not meet current safety standards. (Chicago Tribune)
• Nine empty tanker cars derailed in North Dakota after a train was hit by a pickup truck. (Associated Press)
• Enbridge will have to improve safety practices in a settlement over water violations in Michigan. (InsideClimate News)
• How booming U.S. oil production could threaten the Keystone XL pipeline. (Toronto Globe and Mail)
• Cleanup of a North Dakota pipeline spill unearths a contaminated former drilling site. (Associated Press)

WIND: Hundreds of jobs in Iowa could be affected if the federal production tax credit expires, a Nebraska wind farm is on hold as developers are unable to find a buyer for the power. (Sioux City Journal, Lincoln Journal Star)

FRACKING: A case in Ohio will help determine whether local drilling rules can supercede state regulations, Ohio officials say gas found in a family’s water supply is not from a nearby shale well; and opponents of hydraulic fracturing, many from downstate Illinois, pack a hearing in Chicago to push for a drilling ban (Columbus Dispatch, Chicago Tribune)

EFFICIENCY: A Milwaukee efficiency program has updated more than 1,250 buildings and continues to operate even after federal stimulus money has expired, and a Missouri district plans what could become the first “net zero” school in the state. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Springfield News-Leader)

HYDROPOWER: A proposed hydro project in Minneapolis could cause water to sometimes stop flowing over a Mississippi River spillway, a prospect that riles city park officials. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

BIOENERGY: A proposed biodigester tax break in Wisconsin could be more expensive than anticipated, and trees damaged by storms are now providing fuel for the University of Iowa’s power plant. (Wisconsin State Journal, Cedar Rapids Gazette)

OHIO: A poll finds the majority of small business owners support Ohio’s renewable energy standard. (Cincinnati Enquirer)

TECHNOLOGY: A Michigan startup develops a new energy storage system. (MLive)

COMMENTARY: The Toledo Blade and Cleveland Plain Dealer say Ohio’s renewable energy law should be left as-is.

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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