SOLAR: As Minnesota brings more solar power online, will Xcel Energy still need the three new natural gas peaking plants it’s proposing to build? (Midwest Energy News)

CLIMATE: The Obama Administration has increased its estimate of the social cost of carbon, from $22 to $36 per ton, and a conservative group launches a pre-emptive campaign to head off support for a carbon tax. (Washington Post, The Hill)

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WIND: Michigan lawmakers propose tough restrictions on offshore wind in the Great Lakes. (Traverse City Record-Eagle)

KEYSTONE XL: TransCanada is already digging up sections of the first leg of Keystone XL for repair, and a group of scientists says the State Department’s review findings on the project are “without merit in many critical areas.” (InsideClimate News)

ALSO: An industry study projects Canada’s oil output will double by 2030 if pipeline capacity is expanded, and environmental groups oppose plans to convert an Ohio refinery to process Canadian oil sands crude. (Bloomberg, Toledo Blade)

FRACKING: A Michigan fracking operation runs low on water, forcing it to truck in supplies from nearby towns. (MLive.com)

GRID: Illinois regulators will hold ComEd liable for damages resulting from a string of power outages in 2011. (Chicago Tribune)

FRAC SAND: Wisconsin’s departing frac sand regulator sees no signs that the boom will slow. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

TECHNOLOGY: An East Coast startup says its energy storage batteries will eventually be competitive with natural gas. (MIT Technology Review)

BIOFUELS: Republicans say the federal biofuel mandate is harming the economy. (The Hill)

WISCONSIN: A Wisconsin electric co-op warms to solar power: “You can view it as a threat or as something you need to be a part of.” (LaCrosse Tribune)

COMMENTARY: Waste-to-energy is cleaner than you think, and a renewable energy group takes issue with the idea that Master Limited Partnerships are “lousy” energy policy. (MinnPost, Midwest Energy News)

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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