FRACKING: Environmentalists and the drilling industry compromise on a bill to regulate fracking in Illinois, which will likely be the strictest in the U.S. (Midwest Energy News)

ALSO: Chesapeake Energy says production from its Ohio wells “will be solid for many years to come,” an Ohio bill would make illegal wastewater dumping a felony, and federal regulators say they will more closely monitor air emissions from drilling operations. (Akron Beacon Journal, Columbus Business First, Bloomberg)

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MEANWHILE: As policymakers continue to grapple with the environmental impact of fracking, drilling sites remain among the most dangerous workplaces in the country, as workers risk safety in a rush to produce. (EnergyWire)

CLIMATE: EPA frontrunner Gina McCarthy pledges the agency will continue to push forward on climate change, while environmentalists express concern that Energy Department prospect Ernest Moniz is “a status quo pick at a time when we can’t afford the status quo.” (The Hill)

SURVEY SAYS: A USA Today/Pew Research Center poll found one-third of Americans say action on climate change is “essential” this year, while another 39 percent say something needs to be done in the next few years. (The Hill)

COAL: The largest generating unit in Minnesota remains offline as workers continue to repair damage from a massive 2011 mechanical failure. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

EFFICIENCY: Wisconsin-based Johnson Controls says it will cut energy use 25 percent at all 71 of its U.S. factories over the next six years, and tiremakers find new ways to increase cars’ mileage where the rubber hits the road. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, New York Times)

WIND: A judge orders a Minnesota vendor of small wind turbines to shut down amid fraud accusations. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

KEYSTONE XL: The pipeline gains another high-profile, and somewhat surprising, opponent: Rupert Murdoch. (Houston Chronicle)

FRAC SAND: A Minnesota sand mining company agrees to conduct a full environmental review of its operations. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

ETHANOL: Oil and food industry groups petition the Supreme Court to overturn a decision allowing higher ethanol blends, and North Dakota researchers explore using sugar beets as a biofuel source. (Reuters, Bismarck Tribune)

TRANSPORTATION: Plans for the Twin Cities’ next light rail line begin to take shape. (Minnesota Public Radio)

COMMENTARY: Some climate skeptics dismiss research into their conspiracy-theory mindset as more proof of a conspiracy, and solar power will soon be affordable for the masses in California. (New York Times, CleanTechnica)

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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