RENEWABLE ENERGY: Clean energy companies in Illinois say their industry will continue to grow despite the threat of cuts to the EPA. (Chicago Tribune)

OIL AND GAS: An attorney warns an oil and gas conference in Ohio that massive cuts to EPA staff could actually harm their industry; attendees are otherwise optimistic about the Trump administration. (Cleveland Plain Dealer, Columbus Dispatch)

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PIPELINES: Michigan’s attorney general, along with other state officials, seek answers from Enbridge on whether oil pipelines under the Straits of Mackinac are losing their protective coating; a new report further questions the safety of the pipelines. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Michigan Radio)

• Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is recusing himself from review of the Keystone XL pipeline. (Politico)
• Keystone XL opponents push South Dakota to withdraw its authorization of the project. (Associated Press)
• A closer look at the evolution of President Trump’s claim that Keystone XL and Dakota Access would be built with American steel. (Associated Press)

• A new resources center in Kansas City aims to help improve efficiency in large buildings. (Midwest Energy News)
• A state board rules Duke Energy owes Cincinnati nearly $300,000 in rebates for energy efficiency improvements in 2014. (Cincinnati Business Courier) 

• Indiana schools push to be exempted from a bill reducing incentives for solar power. (Lebanon Reporter)
• A recently completed solar project in a building in Monmouth, Illinois is expected to cut energy bills by 99 percent. (GateHouse Media)

• A PJM Interconnection monitor says subsidizing unprofitable power plants poses a “very real threat” to wholesale markets. (RTO Insider)
• An Illinois legislative committee approves a bill that would lift the state’s moratorium on new construction at existing nuclear plants. (Dispatch-Argus)
• Michigan lawmakers advance a resolution calling for the federal government to establish facilities to reprocess spent nuclear fuel. (The Peninsula)

NATURAL GAS: A proposed $1 billion natural gas plant in Illinois still faces numerous hurdles. (Springfield State Journal-Register)

TRANSMISSION: Missouri regulators will hold another round of hearings on the proposed Grain Belt Express transmission line later this month. (Salt River Journal)

COMMENTARY: EPA administrator Scott Pruitt is a climate denier – not a skeptic – who refuses to accept the consensus of scientists, says the Washington Post editorial board.

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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