WIND: The wind industry awaits guidance from federal tax experts on what exactly it means to “begin construction” to qualify for the renewed production tax credit, and a closed wind turbine factory in North Dakota is retooled to produce containers. (Politico, Fargo Forum)

BIOMASS: Two northern Minnesota communities, out of reach of natural gas pipelines but with “biomass coming out of our ears,” consider central heating plants powered by forest waste. (Midwest Energy News)

OHIO: Ohio’s chief utility regulator is criticized for his Twitter activity, in which he frequently promotes articles questioning climate change and dismissing renewable energy. (Columbus Dispatch)

CLIMATE: Midwest advocates warn of “unpleasant quality of life changes” as the region warms. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

POLITICS: A Harvard political scientist blames the demise of cap-and-trade legislation in 2010 on national environmental groups, saying they underestimated political opposition to climate action. Climate activist Bill McKibben calls the paper “a real service.” (The Guardian, Grist)

OIL: The boom in U.S. oil production changes the market dynamics for Canada’s oil sands, and scientists warn President Obama that approving the Keystone XL pipeline would “undermine” his climate legacy. (Toronto Star, The Hill)

NORTH DAKOTA: Lawmakers consider a suite of tax breaks for the oil industry, including an exemption intended to cut natural gas flaring; the state’s Chamber of Commerce opposes a bill that would exempt oil destined for in-state refineries from extraction taxes. (Grand Forks Herald)

FRAC SAND: Minnesota lawmakers call for a state study of the frac sand industry, with a temporary moratorium on mining activity until it is completed. (Rochester Post-Bulletin)

BIOFUELS: The airline industry struggles to find a low-carbon alternative. (Greenwire)

EFFICIENCY: An Ohio school district receives nearly $100,000 in rebates from AEP after performing extensive efficiency upgrades. (Marietta Times)

COMMENTARY: The Washington Post calls for a carbon tax, and is nuclear power the best way to fight climate change? (Washington Post, Slate)

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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