ARKANSAS OIL SPILL: As workers replace oil-soaked lawns in Mayflower, Arkansas, the Exxon pipeline responsible for the spill remains shut down, with no estimate of when it will reopen; and the FAA imposes a no-fly zone over the area. (Reuters, Dow Jones)

ALSO: Federal officials say there are no regulations requiring safety reviews when older pipelines are reversed and repurposed to carry oil sands crude under higher pressure. (InsideClimate News)

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

EFFICIENCY: As costs drop and technology improves, LED bulbs are on their way to becoming the standard for streetlights, and are gaining in popularity for household use. (Midwest Energy News, Minneapolis Star Tribune)

COAL: An Indiana lawmaker introduces a bill to require state regulators to review contracts with a proposed coal-to-gas plant, and an Illinois town locked into a contract with the Prairie State Energy Campus wants the ability to sell its excess power directly to consumers. (Indianapolis Star, Daily Herald)

POLITICS: President Obama says the notion we can only improve the environment at the expense of the economy is “a false choice,” a poll finds a majority of Republicans think the U.S. should take action on climate change, and Congress battles over potential cuts to energy labs. (The Hill, Greenwire, Politico)

NUCLEAR: A new paper co-authored by NASA’s James Hansen says nuclear power can prevent millions of premature deaths that would otherwise be caused by fossil fuels, and the installation of high-efficiency rotors at an Ohio nuclear plant will increase its output by 30 MW. (Scientific American, Cleveland Plain Dealer)

MICHIGAN: Officials in Lansing say most of the hydraulic fluid spilled from a power plant into the Grand River has been cleaned up. (

SOLAR: Neighbors oppose an Indianapolis solar project, saying they’re worried about the glare from the panels, which developers say will be roughly equivalent to that from a lake. (Associated Press)

OIL: A Michigan county sees a rapid increase in oil production. (

FRAC SAND: A bill to impose a production tax on frac sand mining advances in the Minnesota legislature, and a state lawmaker proposes tougher regulations to protect groundwater from mining operations. (Minnesota Public Radio, Minneapolis Star Tribune)

FRACKING: The White House moves forward with plans to allow fracking wastewater to be shipped on barges. (Reuters)

TRANSPORTATION: GM is investing more than $300 million in plants in Ohio, Michigan and Indiana to produce more fuel-efficient powertrains. (CBS Detroit)

COMMENTARY: The economic impact of renewable energy, finding the tipping point where dropping battery costs make electric vehicles competitive, and why “we shouldn’t expect oil spills to be a part of modern reality.” (Politico, Washington Post, CNN)


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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