COAL: The last of Michigan’s “Classic 7” coal plants shuts down after 67 years of operation. (MLive)

• Utilities in Michigan and Indiana retired 2,000 MW of coal generation last week. (Platts)
• Retirement of an Indiana plant is “almost like a divorce” for longtime employees. (Indianapolis Star)
• Wind and natural gas challenge the economics of North Dakota coal plants. (Bismarck Tribune)

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WISCONSIN: At an appearance in Milwaukee, actor and longtime environmentalist Ed Begley Jr. issues a climate challenge to Wisconsin. (Midwest Energy News)

EPA: The EPA reaffirms its rule regulating mercury and other toxins “is appropriate and necessary,” projecting benefits as high at $90 billion for $9.6 billion in costs. (Greenwire)

OHIO: American Electric Power is sharing confidential data with prospective buyers of unregulated power plants, a sign the utility is increasingly serious about selling. (Bloomberg)

• Michigan officials oppose a plan to pump oil through idled pipelines beneath the St. Clair River that are nearly 100 years old. (The Hill)
• Analysts say Michigan may not see many benefits from an influx of new natural gas pipelines. (Crain’s Detroit Business)
• A $500 million pipeline project in Ohio is generating little controversy. (Toledo Blade)

NATURAL GAS: Michigan utilities are spending millions to upgrade natural gas infrastructure. (MiBiz)

FRAC SAND: A Wisconsin sand mining company lays off 55 workers at three locations. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

• Documents suggest public money intended for an Ohio solar plant may have been funneled overseas. (Toledo Blade)
• Michigan’s largest community solar garden goes online. (WOOD-TV)
• With the dedication of a new array on Earth Day, an Iowa college will hold the most solar capacity in the state. (news release)

GRID: A MISO capacity auction sees higher prices, but no repeat of the spikes that hit southern Illinois last year. (EnergyWire)

EFFICIENCY: Chicago will upgrade 270,000 streetlights to LEDs over the next four years. (WLS)

FAITH: A farmer’s handmade wind turbine is the focal point of an Earth-focused church service in Wisconsin. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

COMMENTARY: The “duty will fall to others” to block “bailout” plans for Ohio utilities. (Crain’s Cleveland Business)

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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