OIL TRAINS: Federal data show that Chicago is the epicenter of crude oil rail shipments. (Chicago Tribune)

ALSO: While BNSF has increased the number of oil trains running through Nebraska, the Keystone XL pipeline would replace very few of those shipments. (Lincoln Journal Star, McClatchy)

***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.***

GRID: Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signs a bill allowing utilities to avoid review for smart grid improvements; consumer advocates are concerned about costs. (Chicago Tribune)

• Neighbors who opposed a nearby coal mining operation are refusing to leave their homes. (Carbondale Southern Illinoisan)
• A Michigan coal plant is cited for a pollution violation as it struggles to manage coal ash runoff. (Coldwater Daily Reporter)
• How coal dependence could impact Nebraska’s ability to compete economically. (Omaha World-Herald)

TECHNOLOGY: A high-speed electric assist bike and an effort to generate electricity from nuclear waste will be spotlighted at the Clean Energy Challenge later this month. (Midwest Energy News)

WIND: Michigan wind developers grow weary from attacks by opponents: “to be the target of these vicious attacks, it gets old pretty quickly.” (Interlochen Public Radio)

• A poll finds most voters want the next president to continue taking action on climate change. (The Hill)
• For industry advocates, denying climate science is no longer “all the rage.” (Washington Post)

• A new report criticizes Ohio and other states for lax oversight of drilling waste. (Crain’s Cleveland Business)
• An Ohio county known for its progressive politics could become the state’s top destination for fracking wastewater. (Columbus Dispatch)
• Developers of a natural gas pipeline near Toledo file eminent domain lawsuits. (Toledo Blade)

HYDROPOWER: Why climate change makes hydropower a riskier investment. (Climate Central)

SOLAR: Solar power is helping stabilize costs for Minnesota farmers. (Hastings Star Gazette)

BIOENERGY: Ethanol advocates tout their industry’s economic benefits for Ohio. (Crain’s Cleveland Business)

***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!***

EFFICIENCY: Smarter energy management helps an Iowa university cut costs over the summer. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

COMMENTARY: What the climate movement can learn from religion. (The Guardian)

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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