MEDIA: InsideClimate News wins a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the 2010 Kalamazoo River oil spill (you can read the winning series here). (Washington Post)

COAL: Two Indiana lawmakers who led efforts to water down legislation protecting ratepayers from a proposed coal-to-gas plant are criticized for their industry ties, which a government watchdog group calls a “glaring” conflict of interest. (Indianapolis Star)

ALSO: An investigation reveals the cause of the 2011 breakdown at Minnesota’s largest coal plant, a coalition of environmental groups call for a moratorium on Powder River Basin leasing, and Peabody Energy seeks dismissal of a Patriot Coal lawsuit. (Minneapolis Star Tribune, Casper Star-Tribune, Bloomberg)

WIND: The IRS completes guidelines on how wind farms can qualify for the 2013 extension of the production tax credit, wind energy grows rapidly in Ohio, and public hearings in Indiana and Illinois debate the merits and impacts of wind farms. (Bloomberg, Columbus Dispatch, Kokomo Tribune, Danville Commercial-News)

RENEWABLES: A measure that would allow renewable energy project to take advantage of a tax structure currently only available to the fossil fuel industry gains momentum in Congress. (E&E Daily)

NATURAL GAS: Xcel Energy proposes three new natural-gas fired “peaker” plants in Minnesota and North Dakota. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

CLIMATE: The EPA reports overall U.S. greenhouse gas emissions fell slightly from 2010 to 2011. (The Hill)

TRANSMISSION: Iowa’s John Norris, commissioner of FERC, says he’s making more of an impact with the agency than he would have in politics. (Greenwire)

EFFICIENCY: Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, along with Sen. Jeanne Shaheen from New Hampshire, will reintroduce a bill with incentives to encourage energy efficiency. (The Hill)

GEOTHERMAL: Why geothermal heating and cooling systems “make a lot of sense” for Wisconsin schools. (LaCrosse Tribune)

COMMENTARY: How utilities can adapt to the new world of distributed energy, and a neighborhood activist talks about her fight to shut down Chicago’s coal plants. (GreenTech Media, Grist)

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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