WIND: A White House official says extending the wind tax credit “will be a top priority” for the administration, as President Obama, campaigning in Council Bluffs, Iowa, touts an Energy Department report showing nearly one-third of new generating capacity installed in the U.S. in 2011 was wind. And with 800 jobs in his state on the line, a North Dakota Republican says he also supports extending the tax credit. (Reuters, The Hill, Fargo Forum)

MEANWHILE: A Romney campaign spokesperson says the candidate supports the wind industry, but not “steering investment toward particular politically favored approaches.” Gov. Romney will be stopping at an Ohio coal mine today. (Recharge News, Columbus Dispatch)

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TRANSPORTATION: At an annual conference in Traverse City, representatives from the Big Three automakers discuss their strategies for improving fuel economy while still meeting consumer demands. (Midwest Energy News)

FRACKING: The government agency in charge of a registry of hydraulic fracturing chemicals has refused to release the full database to the public; and an Ohio official says wastewater injection wells, although targeted by environmentalists for protest, are “the safest way overall to get rid of these wastes.” (EnergyWire, Columbus Dispatch)

PIPELINES: A portable water treatment plant is operating at the site of a gasoline spill in Wisconsin last month, where 23 private water wells are now contaminated. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

EPA: Industry groups and three states are asking a federal appeals court to rehear a case in which judges upheld the EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases. (Greenwire)

MICHIGAN: The Michigan Bureau of Elections says a ballot measure to expand the state’s renewable energy standard has enough signatures to go on the ballot. (

EFFICIENCY: A Grand Rapids, Michigan, hospital is saving $170,000 a year on energy after installing LED lights in its parking garage. (

COMMENTARY: Why North Dakota’s oil boom may be short-lived, a climate change fix conservatives can love, and why the Illinois legislature “needs to take the hint” after Gov. Pat Quinn’s veto of a coal-to-gas project. (Financial Times, Grist, Chicago Tribune)

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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