EFFICIENCY: An Iowa college that wants to cut its energy consumption with a combined heat and power project says its utility’s rate policies are holding it back. (Midwest Energy News)

WISCONSIN: Regulators say complying with the state’s renewable energy standard caused a slight increase in utility rates in recent years. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

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COAL: The EPA agrees to study whether Minnesota’s largest coal plant is impacting haze levels at Voyageurs National Park. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

CLIMATE: President Obama describes recent carbon rule proposals as “first steps” to combat climate change. (Washington Post)

NUCLEAR: Federal regulators say a operators of a Michigan nuclear plant have failed to address concerns about the facility’s safety culture. (MLive)

• An Obama administration decision opens the door for U.S. crude oil exports. (Wall Street Journal)
• North Dakota regulators sign off on a pipeline to ship oil into Minnesota and Wisconsin. (Bismarck Tribune)
• Michigan’s attorney general files additional complaints over Chesapeake Energy’s land-leasing practices. (Detroit Free Press)
• North Dakota discloses information about oil train shipments. (Associated Press)

FRACKING: States with heavy drilling activity confront earthquake risks. (Associated Press)

FRAC SAND: Wisconsin regulators approve a new natural gas pipeline to serve frac sand mining operations. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

SMART GRID: A Michigan utility begins installing sensors to help reduce power outages. (Detroit Free Press)

UTILITIES: Chicago ratepayers will pay more this summer under the city’s bulk purchase program than they would have with ComEd. (Crain’s Chicago Business)

SOLAR: A Wisconsin co-op formally unveils the state’s first community solar garden. (LaCrosse Tribune)

COMMENTARY: Why carbon rules could provide a lifeline to nuclear plants. (Forbes)

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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