WIND: A pair of recent studies by grid operators finds that expanding wind power and transmission may be the most cost-effective route to add generation capacity going forward. (Midwest Energy News)

ALSO: House Democrats warn that ambiguity in the language of the production tax credit extension will hold back renewable energy investment, and an Iowa wind turbine blade manufacturer that laid off more than 400 workers last fall begins rehiring. (Associated Press, The Hill)

*** SPONSORED LINK: Why register for the CERTs 2013 Conference? “I cannot begin to count the number of times I have referenced things I learned, presenters I heard, and people I met at the conference.” – Anne Dybsetter ***

CHU RESIGNS: Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced his resignation on Friday, warning that we have “a moral responsibility” to fight climate change, which will disproportionately impact “the world’s poorest citizens and those yet to be born.” (Greenwire, The Hill)

CLIMATE: U.S. CO2 emissions hit their lowest level since 1994, a Republican energy plan calls for more drilling with no efforts to reduce greenhouse gases, coal-burning utilities seek a role in EPA rule-making on climate change, and Canada’s oil sands industry backs a climate tax. (Bloomberg, McClatchy, Washington Post)

COAL: The EPA seeks dismissal of a lawsuit that would force tougher emission controls at Minnesota’s largest coal plant to reduce haze in national parks. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

FRACKING: Halliburton develops a non-toxic fracking fluid, and North Dakota considers a tax on industrial water use. (Associated Press, Fargo Forum)

FRAC SAND: A Wisconsin sand mine evades a rural township’s restrictions after being annexed by another town. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

GRID: A study finds grid storage costs could fall by as much as half by the end of the decade. (RenewEconomy)

TECHNOLOGY: A $20 million energy innovation program based at Iowa’s three public universities is “starting to see some results.” (Iowa City Press-Citizen)

NUCLEAR: Researchers expect small, modular nuclear reactors to go online withing the next decade. (NPR)

TRANSPORTATION: Ann Arbor, Michigan, considers a bike-sharing program to connect its downtown with the University of Michigan. (AnnArbor.com)

COMMENTARY: A call for a national renewable energy standard, and an electric car owner’s manifesto. (Toledo Blade, Grist)

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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