EFFICIENCY: A Michigan organization helps small cities tackle a major backlog of efficiency projects, which can be difficult to obtain funding for. (Midwest Energy News)

POLICY: Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders introduce legislation that would end tax breaks for fossil fuels. (The Hill)

***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.***

CLEAN POWER PLAN: A U.S. Chamber of Commerce director tells a North Dakota coal industry conference he expects EPA carbon rules will be defeated in court. (Bismarck Tribune)

• The Sierra Club will launch TV ads today targeting two Minnesota utilities for their reliance on coal. (Midwest Energy News)
• A Wisconsin utility says it is recycling 100 percent of its coal waste, with a large portion going to produce gypsum for fertilizer. (WISN-TV)

WIND: Nebraska lawmakers advance a bill that will create a tax credit for wind energy. (Omaha World-Herald)

• A solar industry group targets an Ohio utility, saying it uses “shady tactics” to “stifle competition” from rooftop solar. (Columbus Dispatch)
• A downtown St. Paul district cooling utility announces it will get roughly half its electricity from community solar. (St. Paul Pioneer Press)

MINNESOTA: Minnesota’s House and Senate, each controlled by a different party, approve drastically different energy bills. (Associated Press)

MISSOURI: More than 20 organizations announce the formation of the Missouri Clean Energy Coalition, which will focus on economic and health benefits of renewable power. (Columbia Missourian)

OHIO: A utility executive says “substantial turnover is a challenge” at the state’s Public Utility Commission. (Columbus Business First)

• A drilling executive predicts half of U.S. fracking companies will go out of business or be sold by the end of the year. (Bloomberg)
• Drilling companies test a technique to generate electricity from fracking wastewater. (Bloomberg)
• Opponents of a proposed oil pipeline rally at the Iowa capitol. (Des Moines Register)
• A Thai/Japanese joint venture has chosen Ohio as the site for a new petrochemical plant. (Columbus Business First)

HYDROPOWER: A Wisconsin co-op announces it will purchase a hydropower plant at a former paper mill site. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

***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.***

TECHNOLOGY: How liquid-based “flow” batteries could provide energy storage for the grid. (New York Times)

• On the Clean Power Plan, “history shows that utilities and states have successfully handled every significant change under the Clean Air Act for a generation. This time will be no different.” (U.S. News and World Report)
• Cutting funding for a Wisconsin ratepayer advocacy group “would not level the playing field — it would bulldoze it.” (Racine Journal Times)

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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