OHIO: The state’s renewable and efficiency freeze sent “exactly the wrong message to small businesses and entrepreneurs at a time when the economy was struggling.” (Midwest Energy News)

• Wal-Mart says FirstEnergy’s rate guarantee request is “simply not appropriate.” (Columbus Business First)
Gov. John Kasich is expected to announce more details about a $5.7 billion ethane cracker facility to be built in eastern Ohio. (Columbus Business First)

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• Big cities scramble to develop emergency plans and train fire fighters in the case of accidents from transporting oil by rail. (Associated Press)
A city-by-city survey shows wide disparity in preparation plans. (Associated Press)
Minnesota and Wisconsin senators convene a panel in Minnesota to hear concerns about oil train derailments and promote the need for safety measures. (Minnesota Public Radio)

MICHIGAN: Developing a state-based Clean Power Plan compliance strategy will help Consumers Energy be more flexible in meeting goals, a utility official says. (MLive)

• A 1-MW solar project is operational and helping power an Illinois city. (Geneseo Republic)
Wind power is prevalent in Iowa, but solar is growing in popularity. (KTIV-TV)

FRACKING: Researchers in Iowa are showing how the documentary “Gasland” has shaped perceptions about fracking. (Phys.org)

ETHANOL: After the original owner filed for bankruptcy, an ethanol plant is back online in South Bend, Indiana. (Ethanol Producer)

OIL AND GAS: Local economies in North Dakota are settling into a “new normal” with low oil prices. (Bismarck Tribune)

COAL: A Murray Energy subsidiary lays off 110 workers at an Illinois mine. (Southern Illinoisan)

POLITICS: Clean-energy groups launch an ad campaign against an incumbent U.S. senator in Ohio over his opposition to the Clean Power Plan. (Ohio Public Radio)

COMMENTARY: Energy infrastructure needs investment, not “onerous” regulations. (Detroit News)

Andy Balaskovitz

Andy Balaskovitz

Andy has been a journalism fellow for Midwest Energy News since 2014, following four years at City Pulse, Lansing’s alt-weekly newspaper. He covers the state of Michigan and also compiles the Midwest Energy News daily email digest. Andy is a graduate of Michigan State University’s Journalism School, where he focused on topics covered by the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism and wrote for the Great Lakes Echo. He was the 2008 and 2009 recipient of the Edward Meeman Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Environmental Journalism at Michigan State.

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