KEYSTONE XL: Environmentalists pursue tactics to further delay the approval process for Keystone XL, and records show the Canadian government tried to influence U.S. journalists behind the scenes to build support for the pipeline. (Reuters, Postmedia News)

WIND: How Illinois, a state with relatively marginal wind resources, became a leader in the wind industry. (Midwest Energy News)

***SPONSORED LINK: The best Midwest clean energy startups vie for $250,000 in prizes at the 2013 Clean Energy Challenge April 4 in Chicago.***

COAL: A Missouri co-op will shut down a 66 MW coal plant in September, citing high costs for fuel and emissions upgrades. (Electric Co-op Today)

FRACKING: A new pipeline is proposed to move natural gas-derived products from Ohio to the Gulf Coast, and Ohio legislators consider tougher penalties for illegal wastewater dumping. (Columbus Business First, Youngstown Vindicator)

NATURAL GAS: BNSF Railway will experiment with using compressed natural gas to power its locomotives. (Wall Street Journal)

OIL: North Dakota’s Three Affiliated Tribes warn that potentially radioactive filters used in the oil industry are being illegally dumped in fields and along roads. (Bismarck Tribune)

POLITICS: General Motors CEO Dan Akerson challenges President Obama to develop a national energy policy that “[extends] the duration of the natural gas and tight oil ‘dividend’ for as long as possible.” (Detroit Free Press)

FRAC SAND: A Minnesota county extends its frac sand mining moratorium for another year, and a Minnesota town approves a mining moratorium and limits on truck traffic. (LaCrosse Tribune, Winona Daily News)

SOLAR: A Michigan power cooperative proposes a solar project near Traverse City in which customers will be investment partners. (Traverse City Record-Eagle)

SMART METERS: An Naperville, Illinois group that opposes smart meters will not be allowed to intervene in city hearings on adopting federal energy standards. (Chicago Tribune)

WISCONSIN: The Wisconsin Energy Research Consortium says distributed energy generation “spells opportunity” for the state’s manufacturers. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

CLIMATE: A Seattle group that promotes the teaching of “intelligent design” in classrooms is also behind many state-level efforts to “teach the controversy” on climate science. (ClimateWire)

COMMENTARY: Chicago-to-Indianapolis high speed rail isn’t a fantasy, and why being anti-fracking doesn’t necessarily mean being pro-coal. (Indianapolis Star, Huffington Post)

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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