RENEWABLES: A recent court decision says it is unconstitutional for Michigan to only allow electricity produced within the state to count toward its renewable energy standard. (Greenwire)

FARM BILL: The U.S. Senate passed a farm bill Monday with reduced funding for energy programs; the future of those programs still is yet to be determined. (Midwest Energy News)

SOLAR: 723 megawatts of new solar was installed in the U.S. in the first quarter of this year, an increase of 33 percent over the same period last year. (Reuters)

COAL: The Interior Department is failing to collect tens of millions of dollars in lease payments from coal mining on federal lands, according to an inspector general’s report. (New York Times)

NUCLEAR: Two new reactors in Georgia could determine the fate of the U.S. nuclear industry; a Minnesota nuclear plant makes progress in addressing flooding concerns; and FirstEnergy moves ahead with plans to replace steam generators at its Davis-Besse plant, a project expected to cost “in the hundreds of millions of dollars.” (New York Times, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Toledo Blade)

CLIMATE: Ohio-based American Electric Power tops a list of the country’s worst carbon polluters, Senate Democrats coordinate with the White House on climate strategy, and an Oklahoma congressman wants to cut funding for climate research and spend it on weather forecasting. (Forbes, The Hill)

WIND: A new 100-turbine wind farm is planned in Indiana, and Michigan-bound wind turbine components will share space with tourists aboard the S.S. Badger throughout the summer. (Muncie Star Press, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

OIL: The Sierra Club sues over the Keystone XL review process, which it says is “plagued by conflicts of interest”; and North Dakota teachers tour the Oil Patch. (Huffington Post, Fargo Forum)

FRACKING: Amish farmers in Ohio, whose religion forbids them from using the court system, struggle to negotiate the process of drilling leases. (New Republic)

MEANWHILE: American Indian leaders say bureaucracy remains the biggest hurdle preventing energy development on tribal lands. (Associated Press)

TRANSPORTATION: The Department of Energy pegs the cost of fueling an electric car at the equivalent of $1.14 a gallon. (USA Today)

TECHNOLOGY: Honeywell develops a thermostat that can be controlled across entire municipalities, South Sioux City, Nebraska, will be the first to test it. (St. Paul Pioneer Press)

COMMENTARY: The dream of nuclear electricity “too cheap to meter” is dead. (SmartPlanet)

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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