GREEN ECONOMY: A new report questions Walmart’s clean-energy credentials, finding the company’s proportion of energy from renewables is actually decreasing. (InsideClimate News)

OHIO: The legislature’s Energy Mandates Study Committee might meet on Monday. Or maybe it won’t. (Columbus Business First)

• State officials say Minnesota is not on track to meet federal carbon targets. (Minnesota Public Radio)
• Rural advocates in Minnesota push for approval of the Clean Power Plan. (Public News Service) 
• A study commissioned by Peabody Energy claims carbon rules will increase utility bills by hundreds of dollars in Iowa. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)
• A poll finds most Americans are willing to pay more to cut carbon emissions. (ClimateProgress)
• NRG Energy announces plans to cut its emissions 90 percent by 2050. (New York Times)

EFFICIENCY: Michigan’s utility regulator hopes to “set an example” by using PACE to finance energy upgrades for its new facility, upgrades at GM’s Flint assembly plant are expected to save $900,000 a year, and a new LED “Edison” bulb can make a popular design trend more efficient. (Midwest Energy News, MLive, Treehugger)

NUCLEAR: An industry-backed program aims to recruit college students into the nuclear field, and a new license doesn’t mean an Ohio nuclear plant expansion is likely in the near future. (Midwest Energy News, Toledo Blade)

• BNSF pledges to spend $6 billion to relieve rail congestion. (Omaha World-Herald)
• An oil merger creates a powerful new player in North Dakota. (Reuters)
• Bakken producers push back against proposed conditioning requirements. (Platts)
• The new leader of the Three Affiliated Tribes wants to accelerate the process for a pipeline to alleviate natural gas flaring. (Associated Press)

WIND: Arguing for extension of the production tax credit, Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley urges Congress not to “pull the rug out from under domestic energy producers.” (The Hill)

FRAC SAND: A Minnesota frac sand facility is fined for a second time for pollution violations. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

TECHNOLOGY: Researchers tout electrolysis as a way to soften renewable energy peaks and produce hydrogen for fuel-cell cars. (ClimateWire)

COMMENTARY: Why distributed generation doesn’t eliminate the need for a new Wisconsin transmission line, and if you think Ohio’s failure to release its clean energy jobs report is a coincidence, “you also have no sense of smell.” (Madison Capital Times, Cleveland Plain Dealer)

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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