ELECTRIC CARS: Tesla pays back its Department of Energy loan nine years early, and GM announces its electric Chevy Spark will sell for under $20,000 after federal tax credits. (New York Times, Reuters)

CLIMATE: Wal-Mart, which has already pledged to drastically cut CO2 emissions, extends its energy-efficiency efforts to its expansive supply chain. (ClimateWire)

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CLIMATE: Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz says he doesn’t want to spend his tenure debating climate science: “there is no ambiguity in terms of the scientific basis calling for a prudent response on climate change.” (The Hill)

ALSO: A Yale survey finds 70 percent of Americans think addressing climate change should be a priority, and a Congressional Budget Office report says a carbon tax could avert “catastrophic” climate impacts. (Los Angeles Times, The Hill)

OIL: The EIA says it’s not just North Dakota contributing to the increase in domestic production, and a Michigan congressman uses a vote on Keystone XL to draw attention to Detroit’s petroleum coke pile. (UPI, Michigan Radio)

FRACKING: Reflecting a broader lack of consensus on natural gas, grassroots environmental groups criticize the Environmental Defense Fund for collaborating with industry on fracking regulations. (Mother Jones)

SMART GRID: The Illinois Senate votes to override Gov. Pat Quinn’s veto of a bill authorizing $2.6 billion in rate increases to fund grid upgrades. (Chicago Tribune)

TRANSMISSION: Minnesota’s legislature approves changes to the state’s “Buy the Farm” law, providing additional compensation for landowners who move away from new transmission lines. (Belle Plaine Herald)

NUCLEAR: Environmental groups call for hearings over proposed upgrades to an Ohio nuclear plant. (Toledo Blade)

SECURITY: Lawmakers say utilities aren’t taking adequate steps to protect themselves from computer viruses. (The Hill)

STORAGE: Wisconsin companies partner with a Wyoming utility on a project to store energy from wind and solar installations. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

TECHNOLOGY: A solar-powered airplane sets a distance record, and new technology could harness energy from waste heat at temperatures as low as 86 degrees. (NBC, Treehugger)

COMMENTARY: The economic benefits of Minnesota’s new solar law, and the democratizing effect of rooftop solar. (Greentech Media, AlterNet)

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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