INDIANA: Environmentalists say the use of “trackers” — line items that allow utilities to pass along costs to customers without making a rate case — are a bad deal for ratepayers and put renewable energy at a disadvantage. (Midwest Energy News)

WIND: A controversial wind project in Goodhue County, Minnesota will be allowed to pursue a federal “incidental take” permit, allowing the facility to kill bald eagles without facing prosecution. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

POLLUTION: The EPA finalizes rules to reduce pollution from taconite plants in northern Minnesota. (Duluth News Tribune)

EFFICIENCY: The Department of Energy withdraws rules that would have required high-efficiency furnaces in many states, after a lawsuit by a natural gas industry group. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

TRANSPORTATION: Michigan’s governor calls for higher gasoline taxes to fix the state’s roads; and more cities install protected bike lanes, taking advantage of both economic and environmental benefits. (Detroit Free Press, USA Today)

ALSO: Johnson Controls introduces “micro-hybrid” vehicle technology that can significantly improve fuel economy while only adding $1,200-$1,400 to the price of a car. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

SOLAR: The University of Michigan plans a second 2.4 acre solar array. (

OIL: Marathon Petroleum agrees to clean up oil byproducts underneath a long-closed Michigan refinery. (

POLITICS: A group of House Republicans, and one Democrat, introduce a resolution to oppose any attempt at a carbon tax. (The Hill)

OHIO: A school district considers removing its wind turbine after a series of mechanical problems. (Ashtabula Star Beacon)

SECURITY: The Department of Homeland Security reports that two unnamed power plants had their control systems breached by malware within the past three months. (ThreatPost)

TRANSMISSION: Advocates, regulators and utilities highlight the need to upgrade Minnesota’s grid. (Finance & Commerce)

BIOMASS: The University of Iowa is cutting down thousands of dying, non-native trees for use as biomass in the campus power plant. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

COMMENTARY: Why cap-and-trade deserves another look in the Midwest, and why utilities are attacking net-metering rules. (Crain’s Chicago Business, Greentech Media)

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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