UTILITIES: While a poll shows aging infrastructure tops utilities’ list of concerns, one expert says “there is no sudden crisis looming in the future,” and why Warren Buffett’s next big utility purchase may be in Wisconsin. (Midwest Energy News, Bloomberg)

PIPELINES: A pair of Enbridge pipelines beneath the Straits of Mackinac continue to raise safety concerns; for more information, see our story from last fall. (Associated Press, Midwest Energy News)

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OIL:
• Why North Dakota oil producers prefer rail to pipelines. (Wall Street Journal)
• Oil train traffic is delaying agricultural shipments to the Midwest. (WCCO)
• A report finds oil production will be responsible for most of the growth in methane emissions in coming years. (EnergyWire)
• North Dakota officials approve recommendations to reduce flaring. (Bismarck Tribune)
• North Dakota also approves a plan to protect “extraordinary places,” but won’t allow public comment on drilling projects on private land. (Fargo Forum)
• The U.S. oil boom is reviving old refineries. (New York Times)

FRACKING: Environmental groups say Ohio’s proposed fracking rules put drillers in charge of policing themselves. (Columbus Dispatch)

NATURAL GAS: Basin Electric adds another natural-gas fired generating unit to provide electricity for North Dakota’s oil patch. (Bismarck Tribune)

COAL: Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn returns $5,000 in coal company donations that were directed through a state regulatory employee, and work begins on pollution upgrades at a Wisconsin power plant. (NBC Chicago, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

SOLAR: Xcel Energy’s call for 150 megawatts of solar will put it halfway toward meeting Minnesota’s new solar standard, and North Dakota regulators seek ways to ensure ratepayers in that state aren’t paying for Minnesota policies, and DTE Energy adds another megawatt of solar power. (Minneapolis Star Tribune, Prairie Public Broadcasting, CBS Detroit)

ILLINOIS: A report commissioned by business groups finds deregulation has saved the state’s consumers $36 billion over the past 16 years. (Associated Press)

NUCLEAR: Workers find a broken chunk of metal inside the reactor at a Michigan nuclear plant during a maintenance shutdown. (MLive)

HYDROPOWER: Residents along Ohio’s Muskingum River fight a proposed hydropower plan. (Marietta Times)

COMMENTARY: Why it’s time for southern Illinois to “turn the page” on coal and seek a more sustainable economic future. (Midwest Energy News)

Ken Paulman

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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