NUCLEAR: Exelon drops plans for upgrades at two nuclear plants, including one in Illinois, citing market conditions and competition from wind energy. (Greenwire)

POLITICS: Sen. Lisa Murkowski says an energy efficiency bill will reach the Senate floor “very shortly,” the U.S. Chamber of Commerce backs proposed legislation to streamline energy development on tribal lands, and the White House's new regulatory nominee vows to speed up energy reviews. (Houston Chronicle, Associated Press, New York Times)

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OIL: Demand for oil in the developing world has surpassed that of wealthy nations for the first time. (Reuters)

ALSO: North Dakota towns cope with noise from increased rail traffic while state officials study whether oil field waste can be used to mitigate dust on rural roads, and a worker is injured in an explosion at a Michigan drilling site. (Dickinson Press, Fargo Forum,

COAL: A look inside Duke's new Edwardsport, Indiana coal gasification plant, the largest facility of its type in the world. (Indianapolis Star)

MINNESOTA: Great River Energy says rates won't increase in 2014 amid “a dramatic turnaround” in electricity demand. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

OHIO: A new $1 billion pipe mill opens in Youngstown, Ohio to support oil and gas operations in the U.S. and Canada. (Youngstown Vindicator)

TRANSPORTATION: Local officials lobby for federal spending on high speed rail in Illinois. (Decatur Herald & Review)

SOLAR: Wisconsin researchers develop a solar cell that can also store energy. (Forbes)

COMMENTARY: Is Keystone XL the “Kim Kardashian of energy“? (Christian Science Monitor)

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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