WIND: South Dakota lawmakers advance legislation aimed at easing the state’s tax burden on wind farms, which can impose costs ten times higher than other states. (Midwest Energy News)

ALSO: A developer gives up on a Minnesota wind project that would have been the state’s largest, Nebraska’s governor criticizes state legislators for advancing what he calls “out-of-state special interest tax breaks” for wind development, and Iowa sets a new record with nearly 25 percent of its electricity generated from wind in 2012. (Rochester Post-Bulletin, Omaha World-Herald, Des Moines Business Record)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join Ensia Live in Minneapolis March 14 as futurist and Jamais Cascio speaks on life on Earth after we cut carbon emissions – with a live aerial arts performance by Ribnic Circus. Midwest Energy News readers enter “midwest2013” for discount tickets.***

CLIMATE: New research finds temperatures today are warmer than they were for most of the past 11,000 years, and the rate of change is increasing; an analysis finds U.S. insurers are generally unprepared for climate change; North Dakota lawmakers consider studying how climate change will impact the state; and James Hansen issues a call to action on climate at the Sustainability Summit in Milwaukee. (Bloomberg, ClimateWire, Bismarck Tribune, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

EFFICIENCY: Walgreens plans to build a net-zero store in Evanston, Illinois, which the company believes would be the first retail store in the country to produce more energy than it consumes. (Reuters)

OHIO: A state senator announces at a meeting of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association that a bill will be introduced next week to “evaluate” the state’s renewable energy standard. (Zanesville Times Recorder)

COAL: Wisconsin Energy says it will increase its coal use this year; and coal company bankruptcies jeopardize the pensions and health benefits of thousands of retired miners, many of whom suffer from severe health problems. (Milwaukee Business Journal, Washington Post)

OIL: Hyperion Resources has until next week to being construction on its proposed South Dakota refinery, a drilling company hopes to revive an oil field in northern Indiana, and an Ohio refinery opens a $400 million expansion. (Sioux Falls Argus-Leader, Logansport Pharos-Tribune, Toledo Blade)

NATURAL GAS: An Ohio school plans to convert its heating system to natural gas amid a legal dispute over a faulty wind turbine. (Ashtabula Star Beacon)

COMMENTARY: How the “sequestration” budget cuts will impact the environment. (The Energy Collective)

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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