EFFICIENCY: Utility efficiency programs are credited for a sustained reduction in electricity demand in the Midwest. (EnergyWire)

ALSO: An industry group issues a report claiming Ohio’s efficiency rules have high costs with little benefit. (Columbus Dispatch)

***SPONSORED LINK: The 2014 Clean Energy Challenge business plan competition awards over $500,000 in prizes to the Midwest’s best clean tech researchers, entrepreneurs and students! Early bird tickets available. Presented by Clean Energy Trust. #StartUpNow***

TRANSMISSION: Iowa lawmakers introduce a bill requiring transmission line developers to come up with alternate routes if more than five percent of landowners oppose. (Des Moines Register)

PETCOKE: New legislation restricting petcoke storage will be announced today by Attorney General Lisa Madigan. (Chicago Sun-Times)

COAL ASH: A second leak at a decommissioned power plant is leaking coal ash into a North Carolina river, state officials say the water being released contains unsafe levels of arsenic. (Reuters, Associated Press)

OIL BY RAIL: An Associated Press review finds more than 3 million gallons of oil have spilled from trains since 2008.

FRACKING: Ohio Gov. John Kasich reverses course on drilling in state parks as lawmakers call for an investigation into state regulators’ plans to conduct PR for the industry. (Columbus Dispatch)

NUCLEAR: A Department of Energy-funded boom in new nuclear power plants has failed to materialize. (New York Times)

POLITICS: California billionaire Tom Steyer plans to spend $100 million to make climate change a central issue in this year’s elections, and has even bigger plans for 2016. (Politico)

***SPONSORED LINK: The Solar Powering Minnesota Conference on March 7 is SOLD OUT. You can still join us as an event sponsor to get in front of more than 300 movers and shakers! Learn more at growsolar.org.***

TRANSPORTATION: President Obama says new efficiency rules for trucks are a “win win win,” and a Wisconsin repair shop offers reconditioning services for hybrid car batteries. (New York Times, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

COMMENTARY: How the ethanol industry can thrive without subsidies, and why the North Carolina coal ash spill shows a need for national standards. (Energy Trends Insider, New York Times)

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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