EFFICIENCY: U.S. mayors want a revival of a stimulus-backed efficiency grant program, and the House passes a bipartisan efficiency bill. (Midwest Energy News, The Hill)

COAL: Illinois towns are having buyer’s remorse over the Prairie State coal plant, and a coal mining company will pay more than $200 million to settle pollution violations in five states. (Chicago Tribune, New York Times)

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WIND: A new report finds Iowa is getting 27 percent of its electricity from wind, followed closely by South Dakota. (Des Moines Register)

CLIMATE: President Obama’s proposed budget provides a “road map” to meeting climate and energy goals, a new study examines the think tanks that fight climate policy, and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse is hoping to make climate change a 2016 campaign issue in Iowa. (Greenwire, ClimateWire, The Hill)

• Michigan’s attorney general files a lawsuit accusing two drilling companies of rigging bids on leases. (MLive)
‘Cheating’ at well sites may be a factor in oil train explosions. (InsideClimate News)
• Refiners call for a delay in safety testing of oil in rail cars. (Houston Chronicle)
• Minnesota lawmakers warn the state is “at the geographic epicenter” of risk from oil trains. (Forum News Service)
• Alberta regulators quietly suspends “in situ” oil sands production. (The Tyee)

GRID: A Wisconsin company sees its stock soar amid growing investor interest in energy storage technology. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

SOLAR: A report finds the residential solar market grew by 60 percent last year. (Forbes)

COAL ASH: Advocates say a North Carolina coal ash pond may have been leaking for years before a major spill into a nearby river. (Al Jazeera)

TRANSMISSION: In a two-part series, SNL looks at efforts to speed up federal review for transmission projects: Part 1 | Part 2

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BIXBY: A Minnesota businessman is found guilty of defrauding investors out of $57 million in a coal-to-gas scheme. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

COMMENTARY: Will federal resistance to renewable energy incentives trickle down to the state level? (Forbes)

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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