OIL: Enbridge announces plans for a $6.3 billion expansion of its pipeline network in the U.S. and Canada, and oil industry officials say some North Dakota growing pains are subsiding. (Reuters, Fargo Forum)

CLIMATE: The Doha talks are likely to conclude without any meaningful agreement, and Al Gore tells President Obama “we cannot have four more years of mentioning this occasionally.” (BBC, The Hill)

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FRACKING: A $1 billion natural gas processing plant is on track to open in May in Ohio, and the University of Texas withdraws a study favorable to fracking after finding the lead investigator has ties to the industry. (Cleveland Plain Dealer, Bloomberg)

EFFICIENCY: As energy-saving light bulbs become ubiquitous, utilities are seeking new ways of helping customers save electricity — and meet state efficiency mandates, and a top GOP aide predicts a bipartisan energy efficiency bill in the next Congress. (Midwest Energy News, The Hill)

COAL: As Chicago officials review bids for the city's electricity, eliminating coal from the mix is a key priority. (Crain's Chicago Business)

WIND: Minnesota regulators approve two wind farms in Stearns County. (St. Cloud Times)

TRANSPORTATION: Ray LaHood tells a gathering in Chicago that 80 percent of Americans will be using high-speed rail in 25 years, Chevy Volt owners collectively travel 100 million electric-only miles, and a chart from a Michigan researchers shows Americans are driving less and emitting fewer emissions. (Chicago Sun-Times, PlugInCars.com, Washington Post)

SMART METERS: Illinois regulators allow ComEd to delay installation of smart meters until 2015. (Chicago Tribune)

NUCLEAR: The Fermi 2 nuclear plant in Michigan could be offline for several months due to an equipment failure. (CBS Detroit)

SOLAR: Officials in Saginaw, Michigan unveil a new solar array atop the city's public works building. (MLive.com)

COMMENTARY: Why rail trumps pipelines for moving North Dakota oil, and how Wisconsin regulators are “taxing” renewable energy. (Bismarck Tribune, Midwest Energy News)

Ken is the director of the Vxartnews at Fresh Energy, and has led the project from its inception as Midwest Energy News in 2009. 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 held a variety of editing, production, and leadership roles, and played a key role in the newspaper's transition to digital-first publishing. 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.

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