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MICHIGAN: A conservative group wants to make it safe for Republicans to support clean energy, and Democratic lawmakers seek to double the state’s renewable energy standard. (Midwest Energy News, Associated Press)

***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.***

FRACKING: Oklahoma state scientists kept quiet about a link between drilling and earthquakes amid industry pressure, an Ohio bill would fast-track fracking in state parks, and an Ohio industry group opposes a proposed drilling tax increase(EnergyWire, Columbus Dispatch, Youngstown Vindicator)

ALSO: A company that had hoped to pioneer waterless fracking in Ohio is selling off its assets. (Columbus Business First)

FRAC SAND: Officials in a Minnesota county reverse course on a proposed frac sand mining ban, failing to approve the ordinance. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

OIL: A shortage of oil storage could lead to another price crash, and North Dakota producers are still on track for a major tax break. (Associated Press, Reuters)

NUCLEAR: A Minnesota lawmaker seeks to overturn the state’s ban on new nuclear plants. (Forum News Service)

WIND: An Iowa researcher says turbulence from wind turbines has a positive effect on crops. (WHO-TV)

SOLAR: A report finds lack of policy certainty is harming solar industry growth in Michigan, while Wisconsin saw modest growth. (Public News Service, Wisconsin News Connection)

CLIMATE: Minneapolis will vote on a resolution to divest from fossil fuels, and Al Gore will train climate activists in Iowa. (Minnesota Public Radio, Des Moines Register)

UTILITIES: A Kansas utility seeks a $125 million rate increase to cover costs related to coal and nuclear plants. (Wichita Eagle)

COAL: An Iowa utility completes a $491 million pollution and efficiency upgrade at an Ottumwa power plant. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join Wind on the Wires March 19 for the “Energizing the Future” gala featuring former FERC Chair Jon Wellinghoff & former Congressman Bob Inglis. Reduced rates for NGOs.***

EFFICIENCY: The University of Iowa considers a $75 million combined heat and power facility. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

COMMENTARY: Disruption doesn’t necessarily mean doom for utilities. (Forbes)

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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