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SOLAR: Xcel Energy says it is negotiating with solar providers to meet the state’s 1.5 percent solar standard, raising questions over whether it needs a proposed 100 MW solar project designed for peak power needs. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

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UTILITIES: How a Wisconsin utility’s rate proposal could increase the cost of flushing a toilet in Milwaukee, and a proposal by Dynegy to switch grid operators would likely raise electric bills in Illinois. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

OHIO: A survey finds most Ohioans support the state’s renewable energy and efficiency laws, which were suspended by legislators for two years. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

WIND: The Energy Department will spend $4.5 million researching how birds and bats interact with wind turbines. (CleanTechnica)

ALSO: The Seattle Times looks at wind opposition in Wisconsin, a permit expires for a proposed Illinois wind farm, and work begins on an Indiana wind farm. (Seattle Times, Bloomington Pantagraph, Muncie Star-Press) 

CLIMATE: A new report finds the world’s major economies are falling behind on meeting emissions targets to prevent the worst impacts of climate change. (Scientific American)

REGULATION: Ohio may change the way it issues wetland permits for pipelines, coal mines and other projects. (Columbus Dispatch)

PIPELINES: The Nebraska Supreme Court hears arguments over a state law authorizing authority to reroute Keystone XL, the route for a proposed pipeline through Iowa is still not clear, and the route of a 590-mile natural gas pipeline through Ohio will be changed in response to environmental surveys. (Greenwire, Sioux City Journal, Columbus Dispatch)

NUCLEAR: A Missouri utility will increase water testing at its nuclear power plant after contamination was found nearby. (Jefferson City News Tribune)

POLITICS: Both of Iowa’s U.S. Senate candidates pledge support for the state’s ethanol industry. (Associated Press)

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AGRICULTURE: A Michigan forum discusses renewable energy opportunities in the state’s agribusiness sector. (MLive)

COMMENTARY: How the military’s push for clean energy is saving money and lives. (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.

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