CLIMATE: The IPCC begins meeting in Berlin this week, a draft report says we have 15 years to drastically reduce carbon emissions to limit warming to 2 degrees Celsius. (AFP)

SOLAR: Kansas lawmakers vote to preserve net metering in the state, striking another defeat for ALEC. (Midwest Energy News)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join the conversation, expand your network and meet face-to-face with key Midwest solar industry players at the Midwest Solar Expo on May 16th at the Hilton Minneapolis. Sponsor this event and become a strategic player in the expanding Midwest solar market.***

OIL: Why Minnesota could become the next battleground in the tar sands fight. (Midwest Energy News)

ALSO: Ohio’s EPA adopts new pollution rules for drilling, some Michigan landowners worry about an increase in drilling activity after a new tax break is passed, North Dakota has five new refineries in the works, and pipeline companies get more strategic in their effort to compete with railroads. (Columbus Business First, Detroit Free Press, Fargo Forum)

OHIO: Ohio’s secretary of state blames implementation of a 2008 law he helped draft for higher utility rates. (Columbus Dispatch)

UTILITIES: NRG Energy’s David Crane says utilities should “play it straight” when it comes to planning the future generation mix. (Chicago Tribune)

COAL: The Illinois Department of Natural Resources seeks to reframe its image as a coal industry defender, opponents of a new mine say the agency reforms don’t go far enough. (Associated Press, Carbondale Southern)

CARBON CAPTURE: American Electric Power’s CEO says the government should fund carbon-capture projects. (Columbus Business First)

EFFICIENCY: A Minnesota utility exceeds its efficiency targets for the third year in a row, and the number of Energy Star buildings in Wisconsin has grown more than tenfold since 2000. (Minneapolis Star Tribune, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

NUCLEAR: Scientists warn the next major nuclear power plant disaster isn’t a matter of if, but when. (Reuters)

BIOMASS: A Minnesota developer plans a zero-waste community powered by biodigesters, and a study finds southwest Wisconsin residents could save millions by heating with wood pellets. (Minneapolis Star Tribune, La Crosse Tribune)

***SPONSORED LINK: Attend “Solar Powering Illinois” on April 8.  Sessions on shared solar, IL RPS, solar in municipal aggregation and more. Keynotes include Dr. Elaine Ulrich, U.S. DOE, and Mike Hornitschek, StraightUp Solar. NABCEP credits provided.***

COMMENTARY: Ohio’s bill to freeze the state’s energy law amounts to “unchecked authority” for utilities, and another piece of Ohio legislation would put ratepayers on the hook for cleaning up old manufactured gas sites. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

CORRECTION: An item in Friday’s digest misidentified the origin of an Indiana official’s global warming comment. It was on a government message board, not Twitter.


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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