NOTE TO READERS: Midwest Energy News will be taking a break for Memorial Day. The email digest will resume on Tuesday, May 28.

SOLAR: Minnesota’s governor signs into law a 1.5 percent solar energy standard. But there are other provisions in the law that may have a bigger impact on the industry. (Midwest Energy News)

EFFICIENCY: An Ohio group creates a statewide energy efficiency fund where participants can pay for improvements with savings on their energy bills. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

ALSO: Participants in the nationwide Better Buildings Challenge are saving $58 million a year on energy costs, and a Michigan county issues $1.5 million in bonds to finance major energy upgrades of public buildings. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Alpena News)

OIL: The series of refinery outages and transportation issues that led to a spike in Midwest gasoline prices this week are not seen as indicators of a long-term trend., and activists fighting the Keystone XL pipeline shift to grassroots tactics. (EnergyWire, InsideClimate News)

CLIMATE: Senate Republicans warn President Obama not to combine Keystone XL approval with “wholly unrelated” climate policies, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk says climate advocates need to shift the burden of proof onto skeptics. (The Hill)

FRAC SAND: Towns along a scenic stretch of Mississippi River bluffs that “lives on tourism and retirement homes” hope to create a ten-mile zone where frac sand mining is prohibited. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

NUCLEAR: Michigan lawmakers say a planned nuclear waste disposal site in Ontario “raises serious concerns” about the safety of Lake Huron water supplies. (Toronto Star)

TRANSPORTATION: GM hopes the mistakes of the 1980s don’t haunt the introduction of its new diesel-powered Chevy Cruze. (Detroit Free Press)

OHIO: As part of a high school exchange program, French students travel to a Cincinnati suburb to learn about renewable energy. (Cincinnati Enquirer)

COMMENTARY: Why we need competitive electricity markets, and are microgrids a utility’s best friend or worst enemy? (Grist, 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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