WIND: South Dakota lawmakers hope a change in the state’s tax law will jump-start wind development in the state. (Midwest Energy News)

ALSO: About a dozen wind projects are on hold in Ohio amid state policy uncertainty. (Associated Press)

***SPONSORED LINK: Why register for the CERTs 2015 Conference? “I cannot begin to count the number of times I have referenced things I learned, presenters I heard, and people I met at the conference.” –Anne Dybsetter ***

MICHIGAN: A report from state regulators says Michigan utilities are on track to meet the state’s 10 percent by 2015 renewable energy standard. (MLive)

COAL: A contract with the Prairie State Energy Campus nearby in Illinois has led to soaring electricity rates in a Kentucky town. (Louisville Courier-Journal)

• North Dakota lawmakers reject a bill that would have would have removed “promotion” from state regulators’ job description. (Forum News Service)
• North Dakota set a production record in December as drilling declined. (Forum News Service)
• An automatically triggered decrease in state drilling taxes is unlikely to reverse the decline. (Bismarck Tribune)
• Nationwide, the number of drilling rigs continues to decline. (Bloomberg)
• Falling oil prices have North Dakota legislators struggling with the state budget. (New York Times)
• Crews have recovered 150,000 barrels of contaminated water from the site of a January oil spill. (Bismarck Tribune)
• A North Dakota co-op projects electricity demand continuing to grow in the Oil Patch. (Utility Dive)

REFINERY STRIKE: BP says a refinery near Chicago is operating normally while 57 percent of workers are on strike, while managers at an Ohio refinery are living on-site to avoid striking workers. (Chicago Tribune, Reuters)

FRAC SAND: A proposed Minnesota frac sand project could double the size of the state’s industry, but details are still unknown. (Forum News Service)

SOLAR: Community solar begins to take hold in Indiana as a report shows declining solar industry jobs in the state. (Indianapolis Business Journal, Public News Service)

NUCLEAR: Local officials circulate a petition to keep an Illinois nuclear plant online. (Bloomington Pantagraph)

BIOENERGY: A Michigan biodigester will produce electricity from waste from restaurants, a dairy farm and a salad dressing factory. (Grand Rapids Business Journal)

PROPANE: Minnesota lawmakers debate how to prevent future propane shortages. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

***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.***

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A St. Paul church installs a high-speed electric vehicle charger. (St. Paul Pioneer Press)

COMMENTARY: Why solar power is popular in conservative states. (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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