CLIMATE: The IPCC’s latest assessment warns of widespread economic damage from climate change, and the White House unveils a strategy to cut methane emissions. (New York Times)

MEANWHILE: The Heartland Institute claims that more CO2 will be good for the planet, an idea that scientists dismiss, and the House will vote on a bill requiring NOAA to “prioritize weather-related activities” over climate research. (ClimateWire, The Hill)

***SPONSORED LINK: The 2014 Clean Energy Challenge business plan competition on April 3 awards $500,000 in prizes to innovative Midwest clean tech startups! Hear keynote speakers David Crane and Tom Steyer. Use code “MEN_Newsletter” & register today! ***

• A year after a major pipeline spill in Arkansas, questions remain unanswered about the cause. (InsideClimate News)
• Federal regulators say the oil industry is standing in the way of improving rail safety. (Reuters)
• North Dakota, which currently doesn’t have a rail inspection program, considers starting one. (Fargo Forum)
• Minnesota legislators act quickly on rail safety bills. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
• Amtrak announces schedule changes on the Empire Builder because of oil train traffic. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
• A South Dakota tribe sets up a prayer camp to protest the Keystone XL pipeline. (Associated Press)

ALSO: The Energy Department will host meetings on its Quadrennial Energy Review in North Dakota and Illinois. (Bismarck Tribune)

FRACKING: Illinois officials reassign a regulator who gave a speech that included anti-fracking parody songs, and activists say they will continue to push a fracking ban in an Illinois county despite being defeated at the polls earlier this month. (Belleville News Democrat, Carbondale Southern)

FRAC SAND: Sand mining has a mixed impact on property values in Wisconsin, and a study finds sand from South Dakota’s Black Hills isn’t suitable for fracking in North Dakota. (Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, Associated Press)

NUCLEAR: Residents of an Illinois town worry about the economic impact if a nearby nuclear plant shuts down. (Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette)

TECHNOLOGY: Our third profile of Clean Energy Challenge finalists looks at a company that says it can convert feedlot waste into energy with zero emissions. (Midwest Energy News)

TRANSMISSION: The U.S. Supreme Court could wind up hearing a dispute over whether Missouri ratepayers should pay for interstate transmission costs. (Kansas City Star)

COAL: An anti-coal St. Louis ballot measure will go back before a judge today. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

***SPONSORED LINK: Attend “Solar Powering Illinois” on April 8.  Sessions on shared solar, IL RPS, solar in municipal aggregation and more. Keynotes include Dr. Elaine Ulrich, U.S. DOE, and Mike Hornitschek, StraightUp Solar. NABCEP credits provided.***

TRANSPORTATION: A look back at how cars have changed since the passage of the federal 55 mph speed limit 40 years ago. (Detroit Free Press)

COMMENTARY: A point/counterpoint on the economic value of Exelon’s nuclear plants, the Daily Show buys pizza for fracking opponents, and why a bill to “freeze” Ohio’s renewable energy laws would be just as damaging as the effort to repeal them. (Chicago Tribune, The Daily Show, Cleveland Plain Dealer)

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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