CORRECTION: An item in yesterday’s digest incorrectly stated the Obama administration is preparing greenhouse gas emission rules for existing power plants. The rules would be for newly constructed facilities.

MONIZ: In a Senate confirmation hearing, Energy Secretary nominee Ernest Moniz praises the natural gas “revolution,” offers support for an Ohio uranium enrichment facility, dodges questions about whether he supports a carbon tax, and says the U.S. is “underspending by a factor of three” on energy research. (Washington Post, USA Today, The Hill)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join Ensia Live in Minneapolis this Thursday as global architect Peter Williams speaks on the compelling links between housing design and health – with a live performance by visual artist Gregory Euclide and musician S. Carey of Bon Iver. Midwest Energy News readers enter “midwest2013″ for discount tickets.***

WIND: A Michigan wind developer sues over three townships’ efforts to impose tougher restrictions on wind farms, Consumers Energy responds to a lawsuit by neighbors of a different Michigan wind project, and an Indiana county imposes a moratorium on new wind projects. (Lansing State Journal,, Kokomo Tribune)

OIL AND GAS: President Obama’s budget plan, to be released today, is expected to again attempt to eliminate tax breaks for the oil and gas industry, Arkansans want Exxon Mobil’s Pegasus pipeline moved from the watershed management area where it ruptured last month, and natural gas pipeline construction is creating jobs in Ohio. (Houston Chronicle, InsideClimate News, Canton Repository)

COAL: Environmentalists say federal mining data contradict the “war on coal” narrative, opponents launch an ad campaign against a proposed Indiana coal-to-gas plant, and a Michigan coal plant wins a wildlife habitat award. (Associated Press, Indianapolis Star, News-Herald)

OHIO: Cleveland’s city council unanimously approves a resolution supporting Ohio’s efficiency and renewable energy standards. (EcoWatch)

SOLAR: Officials in Ypsilanti, Michigan approve a lease deal with DTE Energy for a proposed solar project atop a former landfill. (

EFFICIENCY: Michigan cities fare well in federal energy efficiency rankings. (Capital News Service)

FRAC SAND: While there are alternative products that can replace silica sand in fracking operations, they remain prohibitively expensive — for now. (Minnesota Public Radio)

CLIMATE: The Heartland Institute offers lukewarm support for new federal climate science education standards: “they are more balanced and fair than most educational guides I have seen put out by advocacy groups.” (Los Angeles Times)

COMMENTARY: A misguided effort in Kansas to ban “sustainability,” Iraq War spending could have gotten us halfway to a clean energy grid, and why utilities are nervous about the renewable energy transition. (Bloomberg, Grist, Greentech Media)

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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