UTILITIES: Wisconsin regulators are expected to vote today on the proposed merger between Wisconsin Energy and Integrys. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

SOLAR: Xcel Energy’s community solar venture in Wisconsin will be considerably smaller, and possibly less lucrative for participants, than its Minnesota program. (Midwest Energy News)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join Lidija Sekaric, Michael Noble, Cory Honeyman and countless others in Minneapolis on May 13-14 for two days packed with networking, exhibits, training and drinks at theMidwest Solar Expo. Register today and help advance Midwest solar.***

• North Dakota’s governor signs a sweeping restructure of the state’s oil tax code. (Reuters)
• The mayor of Grand Rapids, Michigan backs off of calls for a fracking moratorium. (MLive)

NUCLEAR: Federal regulators see no environmental issues with a proposed 20-year license extension for an Ohio nuclear plant; a decision is expected this fall. (Toledo Blade)

COAL: Pollution violations at a Lansing utility’s power plants create urgency around its transition from coal. (Lansing City Pulse)

MICHIGAN: A state lawmaker says the recent Upper Peninsula energy crisis “highlights the need for a long term energy plan in our state.” (UPMatters)

MISSOURI: A proposal to slash utility rates for a Missouri aluminum manufacturer is generating political controversy. (EnergyWire)

• An Ohio bill would offer tax breaks for natural gas or electric vehicles. (Columbus Business First)
• An Illinois city’s vehicle fleet is now around 80 percent powered by fuels other than gasoline. (Moline Dispatch)
• A poll finds most voters would support a 10-cent gasoline tax increase if it was spent on car infrastructure. (The Hill)

EFFICIENCY: A federal report projects energy consumption will be flat for homeowners, but will increase for businesses. (Columbus Business First)

***SPONSORED LINK: What is the media’s role in addressing environmental challenges? Join Ensia magazine for a conversation with journalist Marc Gunther May 20 at the University of Minnesota. Free and open to the public.***

TECHNOLOGY: A new device could help the grid handle more intermittent sources of power. (Greentech Media)

• DTE Energy says Michigan should be fully regulated. (Detroit News)
• A coal company’s executive pay cuts are “mostly a public-relations stunt.” (Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis)

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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