OIL SANDS: Weeks after a massive pile of petroleum coke in Detroit made national headlines, activists say the substance, a byproduct of oil sands refining, is now piling up along the Calumet River in Chicago. (Midwest Energy News)

ALSO: A Canadian study finds rising mercury levels downstream of Alberta’s oil sands, though it doesn’t tie the result directly to mining. (Toronto Globe and Mail)

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OIL: North Dakota officials are criticized for waiting nearly two weeks to tell the public about a 20,000 barrel pipeline spill. (Associated Press)

COAL: Massive cost overruns at a Mississippi facility raise questions about the economic viability of “clean” coal, environmental groups appeal a permit for an Indiana strip mine, and Ohio schools prepare to take a budget hit as nearby coal plants close. (Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, Columbus Business First)

S.S. BADGER: A federal judge signs a deal that will allow the S.S. Badger to continue dumping coal ash into Lake Michigan until 2015. (Ludington Daily News)

WIND: Advocates say Nebraska’s largest utility is missing an economic opportunity by declining to pursue additional wind power this year. (Omaha World-Herald)

WILDLIFE: While wind energy’s impact on birds is widely publicized, a Cornell researcher says the recent death of 7,500 songbirds at a Canadian natural gas plant shows that little is known about how the oil and gas industry affects wildlife. (EnergyWire)

SOLAR: A 20-acre solar farm at the University of Illinois is delayed amid questions from state officials. (Champaign News-Gazette)

EFFICIENCY: In the first three months of a PACE program in St. Louis, applications for more than $7 million in new projects have been filed. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

ELECTRIC CARS: The University of Michigan partners with Ford to develop an advanced battery lab, engineers say electronics are just as important as batteries to improve electric vehicle performance, and rental car customers so far are steering clear of EVs. (Detroit Free Press, Bloomberg)

BIOMASS: A new biomass plant is helping cut energy costs at Northern Michigan University. (Associated Press)

TRANSPORTATION: City officials in Lincoln, Nebraska seek ways to discourage people from driving alone to work. (Lincoln Journal Star)

COMMENTARY: Fact-checking ALEC’s attacks on Ohio’s clean-energy laws. (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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