COAL: In an EPA settlement, Wisconsin utilities will retire 590 MW of coal power and spend $1.2 billion on pollution upgrades, and a Michigan town prepares for the impending closure of a nearby coal plant. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,

SOLAR: Indianapolis is seeing a boom in solar development, but the expiration of a utility feed-in tariff means the expansion could be short-lived. (Midwest Energy News)

OIL: The EPA says the State Department’s environmental review of Keystone XL fails to adequately assess climate impact; and the federal agency in charge of pipeline oversight is a no-show at the Arkansas oil spill, because “we just don’t have the resources to investigate everything.” (Washington Post, InsideClimate News)

CONGRESS: The Senate will discuss efficiency and hydropower, a bipartisan group of senators will introduce a bill allowing renewable energy projects to take advantage of a key fossil fuel financing mechanism, and Republicans warn the Obama administration against “backdoor” efforts to mitigate climate change. (E&E Daily, The Hill)

WIND: How the ebbs and flows of the wind industry impact an Illinois manufacturer, and developers of a proposed Lake Erie offshore wind project offer Ohio communities a way to support the project. (Chicago Grid, The News-Herald)

NATURAL GAS: Natural gas may become the fuel of choice for long-haul trucking, and low gas prices help fuel an industry effort to weaken state renewable energy standards. (New York Times, Bloomberg)

FRAC SAND: Tougher frac sand mining rules — but not a statewide moratorium — advance in the Minnesota legislature. (Rochester Post-Bulletin)

BIOFUELS: A recently reopened Minnesota ethanol plant shuts down again amid a “nasty fight” over finances, and two Iowa firms will receive more than $10 million from the Department of Energy to develop advanced biofuels for the military. (Minneapolis Star Tribune, Des Moines Register)

EFFICIENCY: Missouri offers a sales tax holiday for buyers of energy-efficient appliances. (Kansas City Star)

COMMENTARY: David Suzuki warns we must “be wary of false arguments” against wind power, and why the future for renewable energy is still bright. (EcoWatch, Mother Jones)

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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