PIPELINES: Dakota Access pipeline protests draw scrutiny to a federal fast-track approval process; a 2013 project in Illinois raised similar questions. (Greenwire, Midwest Energy News archive) 

• Rural co-ops in Illinois see expanding broadband internet access as a service opportunity as well as a way to better take advantage of smart grid technology. (Midwest Energy News)
• A Minnesota co-op awards a $15 million contract to install smart meters across its territory. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

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ELECTRIC CARS: A federal effort aims to expand electric car charging on U.S. highways, with Michigan and Missouri among states being targeted. (Reuters, MLive, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

• A Wisconsin co-op announces agreements for three new solar projects. (Wisconsin Ag Connection)
• Construction begins on a community solar project on a former Wisconsin landfill site. (WEAU)

OIL AND GAS: North Dakota officials plan carefully amid uncertainty about the state’s oil industry: “Things are not rosy.” (Dickinson Press)

WIND: Alliant Energy projects higher dividends for shareholders as it embarks on a major wind energy expansion. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

• Officials break ground on an $8 million Ohio plant that will produce biogas from decomposing trash. (Maysville Ledger Independent)
• A South Dakota ethanol refinery is cited for safety violations after a worker dies. (Associated Press)

COAL: Local officials in Ohio push back against a proposed rail yard that they believe is intended to serve coal trains destined for a Michigan power plant. (Toledo Blade)

• Scientists warn the next three years will be our “last chance” to keep global warming at safe levels. (InsideClimate News)
• A Chicago event explores the nexus between energy and water issues. (Medill Reports)

COMMENTARY: “The Dakota and Lakota of the Standing Rock tribe would hardly be the first American Indians to pay the price for white people who want to move environmental hazards out of sight, out of mind and out of their water faucets.” (New York Times)

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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