BIOFUELS: In what has so far been a nascent industry in the U.S., a major biogas producer that turns livestock manure into energy is expected to expand operations this summer with a new Missouri plant. (Midwest Energy News)

ALSO:
• Iowa lawmakers approve a 10-year, $10 million tax credit for producers of chemicals that will provide the building blocks for next-generation biofuels. (The Gazette)
Missouri lawmakers advance a bill to extend incentives for ethanol producers. (The Missouri Times)

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OIL AND GAS:
Critics say a proposed rule change for oil and gas hearings in North Dakota would significantly limit public participation in the process. (Forum News Service)
• North Dakota officials say it will be a lengthy, difficult process for a company seeking an air permit to build a refinery near a national park. (Bismarck Tribune)
North Dakota’s governor says the state has a “strong and growing” economic base that is helping it weather the industry downturn. (Associated Press)

SOLAR:
• An Iowa electric cooperative’s first foray into solar energy will create the state’s largest single project at 5 megawatts. (Electric Co-Op Today)
• A new industry report shows an average 5 percent drop in installation costs around the country in 2015. (PV Magazine)

COAL: Former coal executive Don Blankenship is sentenced to a year in prison – the maximum allowed – and a $250,000 fine for knowingly violating safety standards. (New York Times)

WASTE-TO-ENERGY: Officials terminate plans for an energy park in Ohio that would have diverted landfill waste to produce energy after the developer failed to pay its bills. (Columbus Business First)

PIPELINES: Critics of a planned natural gas pipeline that will pass through Ohio want the developer to prove that it will actually benefit customers in the state. (Chronicle-Telegram)

EFFICIENCY: Combining demand response and energy efficiency programs could be the next wave of utility spending as a way to lower customer bills. (Utility Dive)

UTILITIES: Ameren Illinois will file plans with state regulators for a $14 million rate decrease, though it is much smaller than the amount rates have increased in recent years. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

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EMISSIONS: Illinois will resume mailing vehicle emission-test notices to drivers following a state budget impasse. (WLS-TV)

COMMENTARY:
• A new report shows the “clean energy economy is well under way in the Midwest.” (MinnPost)
Pipelines are a better alternative for moving oil through North Dakota than trucks or trains. (Bismarck Tribune)
Energy efficiency and renewables helps Michigan’s agriculture industry thrive. (MLive)

Andy Balaskovitz

Andy Balaskovitz

Andy has been a journalism fellow for Midwest Energy News since 2014, following four years at City Pulse, Lansing’s alt-weekly newspaper. He covers the state of Michigan and also compiles the Midwest Energy News daily email digest. Andy is a graduate of Michigan State University’s Journalism School, where he focused on topics covered by the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism and wrote for the Great Lakes Echo. He was the 2008 and 2009 recipient of the Edward Meeman Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Environmental Journalism at Michigan State.

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