CLIMATE: U.S. carbon emissions rose slightly in 2014, but at a slower rate than economic growth. (The Hill)

• Iowa seeks to become a leader in biofuels made from animal manure and other organic waste. (Midwest Energy News)
• The Detroit Zoo is raising funds for a biodigester that will be powered by the 400 tons of manure produced by its animals each year. (MLive)

***SPONSORED LINK: Register for the Midwest Solar Expo today! Join the solar industry in advancing the Midwest solar market on May 13-14 in Minneapolis. Network with strategic players and learn about solar opportunities in your area.***

PIPELINES: Critics say the federal agency overseeing pipeline safety is understaffed and too closely tied to the industry it regulates. (Politico)

UTILITIES: Chicago ends its municipal aggregation program after determining it can’t provide a better deal for customers. (Crain’s Chicago Business)

ILLINOIS: Clean-energy advocates square off with utilities over three major pieces of energy legislation. (Utility Dive)

SOLAR: Chicago officials pursue community solar gardens. (Curbed Chicago)

• Illinois’ attorney general has “serious concerns” about a MISO capacity auction that will cause costs to soar in part of Illinois. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
• RES Americas announces a new 6 MW storage facility in Ohio. (ReNews)

COAL: Plans to shut down an Indiana coal plant may face opposition from a small railroad that depends heavily on coal shipments. (Indianapolis Star)

• North Dakota passes a bill calling for tougher pipeline oversight. (UPI)
• A Thai company is considering Ohio as a site for a plant to produce petrochemicals from natural gas. (Columbus Business First)
• A drilling company is doing damage control after setting off a 3,000 acre wildfire in North Dakota. (Bismarck Tribune)
• Kansas is seeing fewer earthquakes after enacting new restrictions on fracking wastewater disposal. (Hutchinson News)

• Cuyahoga County, Ohio launches a program aimed at raising $120 million for energy efficiency efforts. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
• A Minnesota utility exceeds state efficiency targets for the fifth year in a row. (Mesabi Daily News)

***SPONSORED LINK: What is the media’s role in addressing environmental challenges? Join Ensia magazine for a conversation with journalist Marc Gunther May 20 at the University of Minnesota. Free and open to the public.***

WILDLIFE: An Iowa utility takes steps to protect birds after an eagle was recently electrocuted on a power line. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

• Why cutting funding for a Minnesota Wisconsin consumer watchdog is “clearing the field for the utilities in rate cases.” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
• “Now is not the time to revert to old policies” in Minnesota. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
• Exelon says Dynegy’s opposition to a Low Carbon Portfolio Standard bill is so it can make more money off of its coal plants. (Reboot Illinois)

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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