OIL: Last month’s oil train explosion in North Dakota is serving as a “wake-up call” for railroad towns and is reviving the rail-vs-pipeline debate. (EnergyWire)

ALSO: Also in response to December’s derailment, a prominent North Dakota Republican calls for a slowdown in the state’s oil boom, and a U.S. Senator renews a push for tougher rail car safety standards. Meanwhile, icy weather will likely disrupt oil production nationwide. (Reuters)

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BIOENERGY: An Australian researcher says U.S. biofuel subsidies have encouraged the oil industry to speed up production; and Minnesota’s largest biodigester-to-electricity plant opens amid controversy over costs. (Midwest Energy News, Minnesota Public Radio)

COAL: Despite falling domestic demand, the future remains strong for the U.S. coal industry; Alliant Energy will convert an Iowa coal plant to natural gas; and increased rail traffic has a North Dakota utility hauling coal by truck. (Wall Street Journal, Des Moines Register, Bismarck Tribune)

PIPELINES: Exxon is granted another extension to tell regulators how it plans to repair a pipeline that ruptured in Arkansas last year. (InsideClimate News)

NUCLEAR: Federal regulators say it’s safe to continue storing nuclear waste in pools at reactor sites. (New York Times)

EFFICIENCY: The culture war over light bulb efficiency standards draws to a quiet close. (Politico)

UTILITIES: Boulder, Colorado informs Xcel Energy it plans to acquire some of its electric infrastructure, a “significant” step toward forming a municipal utility. (Boulder Daily Camera)

FRAC SAND: Wisconsin authorities fine two companies $80,000 for discharging sediment into wetlands and waterways. (Wisconsin State Journal)

MEDIA: An analysis finds reporting on climate change increased in 2013. (Daily Climate)

COMMENTARY: “The Daily Show” reviews the most memorable instances of cold-related climate denial on cable news (possibly NSFW).

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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