NUCLEAR: Exelon responds to an Illinois report on its nuclear plants, saying it bolsters the company’s case that state action is needed to keep the plants competitive. (Midwest Energy News)

CLIMATE: A Michigan organization helps small cities develop plans to adapt to climate change. (Midwest Energy News)

***SPONSORED LINK: The Midwest Energy Solutions Conference is the largest event of its kind in the region. This event attracts a diverse assemblage of thought leaders from around the nation who share a passion for energy efficiency.***

KEYSTONE XL: Nebraska’s Supreme Court didn’t have enough votes to overturn a state law regarding authority over pipeline routes, removing an obstacle to the project. (InsideClimate News)

ALSO: Political alliances forged over Keystone XL could imperil other projects, and will GOP pushback against President Obama’s climate agenda backfire? (Politico, InsideClimate News)

• Wisconsin officials say they’re not seeing a slowdown in frac sand mining. (Madison Capital Times)
• A documentary airing tonight will explore the risks faced by North Dakota oil field workers. (Midwest Energy News)
• Ohio officials say no contaminants were released following a refinery explosion over the weekend. (Associated Press)
• Opponents of an Ohio natural gas pipeline meet with Gov. John Kasich. (Toledo Blade)
• A North Dakota town starts to feel the impact of the oil slowdown, as drillers idle the most rigs since 1991. (Reuters, Bloomberg) 
• A Wisconsin county has doubts about the safety of a proposed Enbridge pipeline expansion. (Wisconsin State Journal)

UTILITIES: An Indiana utility is the latest in the Midwest to pursue increased fixed charges, a Minnesota firm is fined $4.3 million to settle charges of manipulating electricity markets, and the CEO of an Ohio utility raises concerns about reliability(Indianapolis Business Journal, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Dayton Business Journal)

TRANSMISSION: Can a national climate policy work without a national transmission plan? (EnergyWire)

ELECTRIC CARS: GM plans to reveal a 200-mile electric vehicle, reportedly called the Chevrolet Bolt, at an auto show today. (MLive)

SOLAR: The Republican chair of the Minnesota House energy committee says he’ll revisit “excessive subsidies” for solar power, landowners near a utility-scale Minnesota solar project say they’re concerned about impact on property values, and a report says solar combined with storage won’t be a threat to utilities anytime soon. (Minneapolis Star Tribune, Minnesota Watchdog, Forbes)

COAL: Patriot Coal announces it will move its headquarters from St. Louis to to West Virginia. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

TECHNOLOGY: A Wisconsin company’s battery helps increase mileage in Ford pickups; and despite a solar slowdown in the state, an Ohio firm reports strong sales elsewhere. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Toledo Free Press)

PROPANE: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker declares an emergency to ensure adequate supplies of propane. (Associated Press)

COMMENTARY: An Illinois coal plant puts an Ohio town at risk., and how OPEC is using the price of oil as a weapon against U.S. producers. (Midwest Energy News, Bloomberg)

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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