SOLAR: The Commerce Department announces tariffs of 24 to 36 percent on solar panels imported from China, in response to complaints from U.S. companies that their foreign counterparts are benefiting unfairly from government subsidies. (New York Times)

EPA: Minnesota Rep. Chip Cravaack is pushing legislation to roll back the EPA’s regional haze oversight. (Greenwire)

POLITICS: Campaigning in Iowa, Mitt Romney tells farmers that cap-and-trade “will take millions of acres out of farming,” and warns that the EPA “wants to regulate dust”; meanwhile, President Obama talks about climate change action in Ohio. (ClimateWire)

ALSO: House Republicans call for an audit of all federal energy subsidies between 2003 and 2012. (The Hill)

OIL: North Dakota lawmakers promote tax breaks for new refineries that process oil from in-state, and the EPA wants Enbridge to dredge 100 acres of Michigan’s Kalamazoo River still contaminated with oil from a 2010 spill. (Associated Press, InsideClimate News)

TRANSMISSION: Developers of the Rock Island Clean Line say the project will reduce wholesale electricity prices in Illinois. (Quad-City Business Journal)

ETHANOL: The Minnesota Department of Agriculture says the state’s ethanol industry had a $5 billion economic impact last year. (St. Paul Pioneer Press)

CARBON CAPTURE: A report from the Carbon Capture Institute says more than 100 new CCS projects are needed by 2020 if the world is to avoid the 2°C climate change threshold. (Reuters)

FRAC SAND: Wisconsin launches a study of frac sand mining’s impact on water quality. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

HYDROPOWER: The first phase of a project to upgrade generating infrastructure at U.S. dams is underway, at an average cost of less than 4 cents per kWh. (CleanTechnica)

TECHNOLOGY: An Ohio researcher says a circuit board he developed could dramatically increase the efficiency of solar panels. (Columbus Dispatch)

TRANSPORTATION: The cars for the Twin Cities’ new Central Corridor light rail are 6,000 pounds lighter, and use LED lighting instead of fluorescent to save energy. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

COMMENTARY: The Washington Post says regardless of political pandering, the marketplace is turning away from coal.

Ken Paulman

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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