CORRECTION: A federal decision on listing the Northern long-eared bat is expected today. A Midwest Energy News story incorrectly stated the decision was due yesterday.

MICHIGAN: While some Michigan lawmakers say better utility planning can take the place of state renewable and efficiency standards, the experiences of other states show that isn’t the case. (Midwest Energy News)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join venture capitalists, civic leaders, and industry executives on April 14 at the Clean Energy Challenge in Chicago to watch fourteen cleantech startups compete for $1 million in total funding.***

ILLINOIS: Will ComEd’s efficiency proposal help or hurt Exelon’s bid to gain state support for its nuclear plants? (Crain’s Chicago Business)

• New rules take effect in North Dakota today to make Bakken crude less explosive. (Reuters)
• The engineer involved in a 2013 oil train explosion sues BNSF Railway, alleging negligence. (Fargo Forum)

• Falling oil prices have led to nearly 100,000 layoffs nationwide. (USA Today)
• A Pennsylvania-based project aims to collect baseline air and water quality readings to measure the impact of drilling operations. (InsideClimate News)
• A local official calls an Ohio county the “Saudi Arabia of natural gas.” (Portsmouth Daily Times)
North Dakota joins Wyoming’s lawsuit challenging fracking rules for public lands. (Associated Press)
• Kansas and Oklahoma take drastically different approaches to dealing with earthquakes caused by drilling-related activity. (Tulsa World)
• A study finds methane escaping from natural gas infrastructure has dropped significantly. (Houston Chronicle)

COAL: A financial firm upgrades Murray Energy’s outlook after its recent acquisition of a controlling interest of Foresight Energy. (Platts)

SOLAR: Toledo officials approve a permit for Owens-Corning to build a 2.4 MW solar canopy system over a downtown parking lot. (Toledo Blade)

WASTE-TO-ENERGY: A Minnesota startup plans to use a truck-mounted portable refinery to convert restaurant grease into diesel. (Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal)

ETHANOL: A North Dakota co-op’s ethanol refinery, which utilizes waste heat from a nearby coal plant, is benefiting nearby farmers. (Electric Co-op Today)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join the solar industry in Minneapolis on May 13-14 at the Midwest Solar Expo! Expand your network and meet face-to-face with key Midwest solar industry players. Register today!***

CLIMATE: Loyola University may become the first Illinois college to divest from fossil fuels. (Chicago Sun-Times)

COMMENTARY: A former Congressman says many rural Ohioans “simply cannot afford to care” about climate change. (The Hill)

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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