KANSAS: The Kansas House rejects a bill that would have repealed the state’s renewable energy standard. (Topeka Capital-Journal)

SOLAR: Minnesota regulators are expected to decide today whether a proposed solar project can meet Xcel Energy’s peak power needs more cost-effectively than natural gas (background here). Check Midwest Energy News later today for updates.

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OIL: The Coast Guard says up to 755 gallons of oil spilled from a BP refinery into Lake Michigan, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he expects “a full accounting of the damage that was done.” (MLive, CBS Chicago)

ALSO: A Chicago company has an idea to route oil trains around the city, and a Montana man sues over his son’s death in a North Dakota oil field incident. (EnergyWire, Missoulian)

OHIO: Ohio regulators decide to make no changes to the state’s system of regulated pricing. (Columbus Dispatch)

PUBLIC OPINION: A new survey by the University of Michigan’s Energy Institute aims to take an “objective” and “non-leading” look at consumers’ opinions on energy issues. (Midwest Energy News)

TECHNOLOGY: In the first in our four-part series on finalists in the Clean Energy Challenge, we look at a Chicago company that hopes improved access to energy data will help Nigerian businesses rely less on diesel generators. (Midwest Energy News)

GRID: Bills in the House and Senate would give FERC broader authority to address vulnerabilities to the electrical grid. (The Hill)

EMISSIONS: Milwaukee officials call for an energy independence plan that will increase the use of renewable energy; and the CEO of Integrys a transition to low-carbon energy is happening, but will still take time. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

TRANSMISSION: Developers of the Grain Belt Express line ask Missouri regulators to approve their route through the state. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

WIND: The Ohio Supreme Court hears arguments over whether a wind farm should be allowed to proceed over objections from county-level officials. (Dayton Daily News)

NATURAL GAS: American Electric Power expects its natural gas capacity to increase 65 percent from 2005-2016, and North Dakota regulators approve two new natural gas units to meet growing electricity demand in the Oil Patch. (Columbus Business First, Fargo Forum)

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HYDROPOWER: An Ohio town nears completion of a 105 MW hydropower project that, along with other sources, will help the city get up to 70 percent of its power from carbon-free sources. (Journal-News)

COMMENTARY: Monday’s oil spill is just the latest pollution controversy from BP’s Whiting refinery, and grid parity may be coming soon to a utility near you. (NRDC Switchboard, Washington 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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