COAL: A new report finds Illinois saw record coal exports in 2012, as the state becomes the fifth-largest coal producer in the U.S. (Associated Press)

ALSO: An Indianapolis utility plans to shut down 600 MW of coal- and oil-powered units, and will replace them with a new natural gas plant; a poll finds a northern Minnesota utility’s customers support a shift away from coal; and a soon-to-be-retired power plant in Rochester, Minnesota, is expected to burn through the last of its coal by September. (Indianapolis Star, Duluth News Tribune, Rochester Post-Bulletin)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join RETECH, the 5th Annual Renewable Energy Technology Conference & Exhibition, this September in Washington, DC to address today’s most pressing energy issues. Midwest Energy News readers receive 10% off with VIP code: MEN10 – register today! ***

FRACKING: Ohio lawmakers introduce a bill calling for a ban on wastewater injection wells; drillers say lack of pipelines and processing facilities are holding back development; a new report finds nearly half of U.S. oil and gas wells are in water-stressed areas; and at a public forum, Michigan regulators assure residents that “we don’t see the sky as falling.” (Coshocton Tribune, Akron Beacon-Journal, Quartz,

FRAC SAND: Minnesota Public Radio unveils a new map of the state’s active and proposed frac sand mines, and recreational cyclists express concerns about increased truck traffic along popular southeast Minnesota routes. (Minnesota Public Radio)

POLLUTION: Critics say vague EPA rules often let pollution violators choose conservation projects based on convenience, rather than impact. (Midwest Energy News)

CLIMATE: General Motors signs on to a declaration calling for action on climate change, and a new poll finds a majority of Americans see a link between climate change and weather extremes. (Detroit Free Press, The Hill)

OIL: The pipeline that spilled thousands of barrels of oil into an Arkansas neighborhood in March leaked a small amount of oil into a Missouri yard this week. (Reuters)

ELECTRIC CARS: Coda, a California-based electric car maker, files for bankruptcy; and Chevy Volt sales slip behind the Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model S. (Reuters, Detroit Free Press)

SOLAR: Business is booming for Ohio-based Xunlight, and the company is on track to turn a profit by July. (Toledo Blade)

TECHNOLOGY: A123 Systems turns its focus to energy storage, and a Wisconsin lab sends its first batch of renewable jet fuel to the Air Force. (Boston Business Journal, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

WIND: A Wisconsin town is ordered to pay $50,000 after a court finds it unfairly targeted wind-energy critics in enforcing its sign ordinance. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

OHIO: Federal regulators approve American Electric Power’s plan to separate its Ohio generating business from its transmission operations, and a state siting board approves a new 799 MW natural gas plant near Toledo. (Columbus Business First, Toledo Blade)

TRANSPORTATION: Minnesota is the fourth most bike-friendly state in the U.S., according to a new report. (League of American Bicyclists)

COMMENTARY: What the coal sector has in common with telecommunications, and is Illinois home to “the nation’s most reckless coal industry“? (Forbes, Huffington Post)


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.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.