TRANSMISSION: Wisconsin regulators approve a controversial transmission project that will expand the state’s access to wind energy. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

SOLAR: How a Minnesota construction firm became one of the nation’s largest builders of solar installations. (Midwest Energy News)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join venture capitalists, civic leaders, and industry executives on April 14 at the Clean Energy Challenge in Chicago to watch fourteen cleantech startups compete for $1 million in total funding.***

UTILITIES: Minnesota regulators approve a rate increase for Xcel Energy, but reject a request by the utility to allow higher fixed charges, which opponents say would discourage efficiency. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

COAL: A Missouri town is the latest to launch a legal challenge over a deal with the Prairie State Energy Campus in Illinois. (SNL)

ILLINOIS: State lawmakers advance a bill that would establish a low-carbon portfolio standard. (Associated Press)

• Minnesota officials advise people living near tracks to have evacuation plans. (Forum News Service)
• Minnesota lawmakers block an effort to speed up debate on a rail safety bill. (Forum News Service)
• Local officials raise concerns about a plan to route oil trains through downtown Minneapolis. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

FRACKING: More wastewater injection wells in Oklahoma are coming under scrutiny amid earthquake concerns. (EnergyWire)

FRAC SAND: Layoffs at a Wisconsin sand hauler could be an indication of impending setbacks for the state’s sand mining industry. (Madison Capital Times)

POLLUTION: Researchers find pollution from car exhaust and power plants can impact brain development in young children, impacting behavior. (Los Angeles Times)

NUCLEAR: An Illinois nuclear plant is back online after a planned refueling outage. (Quad-City Times)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join the solar industry in Minneapolis on May 13-14 at the Midwest Solar Expo! Expand your network and meet face-to-face with key Midwest solar industry players. Register today!***

CARBON CAPTURE: Industry groups challenge an EPA designation that classifies injected CO2 as “solid waste.” (Greenwire)

COMMENTARY: “Global warming” or “climate change”? It doesn’t matter. (Grist)

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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