SOLAR: Minnesota regulators provide some clarity on the state’s community solar garden rules, rejecting proposals by Xcel Energy to limit the program and set lower rates. (Midwest Energy News)

ALSO: Officials in Linn County, Iowa are planning for a 2.5 megawatt solar project. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

***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***

IOWA: Bills that would have expanded solar power in the state, placed a moratorium on frac sand mining, and placed tougher restrictions on transmission siting have failed to win committee approval and are most likely dead for the year. (Des Moines Register)

TRANSMISSION: Illinois regulators approve a final route for a 375-mile long transmission line. (Carbondale Southern)

FUTUREGEN: The Illinois Commerce Commission signs off on a carbon dioxide pipeline and transmission lines for the FutureGen “clean coal” project. (Jacksonville Journal-Courier)

COAL: A political committee controlled by Illinois’ top mining regulator has accepted thousands in contributions from a major coal mine owner, why Ameren essentially gave away its Illinois coal plants, and Peabody Energy faces a tough crowd at a hearing in southern Illinois. (Illinois Times, Bloomberg, Huffington Post)

PETCOKE: After pledging to no longer store petcoke on the Detroit River, a company is staking out a new location a few miles away. (Detroit News)

FRACKING: An analyst says there are still a lot of unknowns about Ohio’s shale gas potential. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

OIL: BNSF Railway plans to buy 5,000 tanker cars with updated safety features; and in addition to rent, housing prices are also soaring in North Dakota. (Reuters, Associated Press)

KEYSTONE XL: A court ruling invalidating a Nebraska law on routing Keystone XL could delay the project another year. (Omaha World-Herald)

POLITICS: Despite committing $100 million to fight climate change, activist Tom Steyer is still vastly outgunned by Charles and David Koch. (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***

OHIO: A new state website will make it easier for consumers to compare utility prices. (Columbus Dispatch)

COMMENTARY: Why Ohio’s clean energy law is still under attack. (The Equation)

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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