SOLAR: A new report outlines the economic benefits of encouraging solar power in low-income communities. (Midwest Energy News)

• A Nebraska cattle ranch unveils its 600 kW solar array, the largest in the state. (North Platte Telegraph)
• An Iowa town considers installing solar panels on city buildings, which officials expect could cut energy bills in half. (KCRG)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join venture capitalists, civic leaders, and industry executives to recognize cleantech innovation at the Clean Energy Trust Challenge on April 12th. The Chicago-based accelerator has grown 60+ businesses throughout the Midwest.***

CLEAN POWER PLAN: Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton says he will veto any attempt by state legislators to halt work on compliance plans. (Minnesota Public Radio)

• Two Midwest coal barons may see their empires begin to crumble. (Bloomberg Business)
• Peabody Energy announces layoffs at Wyoming coal mines. (St. Louis Business Journal)

• At a campaign rally, Ohio Gov. John Kasich says “we are beginning to see a rebound” in the oil and gas industry, and says renewable energy is too expensive to revive the state’s manufacturing sector. (Youngstown Vindicator, ThinkProgress)
• The state attorney general signs off on language for a perennial ballot amendment seeking to create $13 billion in clean energy bonds. (Columbus Dispatch)

OIL AND GAS: An incident at a North Dakota compressor station sparks a 900 acre wildfire. (Bismarck Tribune)

• Opponents of an Ohio natural gas pipeline say low prices negate the need for the project. (Canton Repository)
• An energy expert discusses the upsides and downsides of the recently approved Bakken oil pipeline for Iowa. (Little Village)

WIND: A California company is exploring a $200 million wind farm in northwest Iowa. (Sioux City Journal)

• An Iowa dairy farmer is proud of his solar array, but says energy efficiency comes first. (Agri News)
• A Wisconsin man says his LP gas supplier’s charge for low usage discourages energy conservation. (WISC)
• The Energy Department selects an Iowa State laboratory to develop new energy efficient refrigeration technology. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

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VW: A former Volkswagen employee in Michigan says the company destroyed documents related to its emissions scandal, and that he was fired for refusing to participate. (Associated Press)

• Target’s rooftops should be a bull’s eye for solar. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
• The future of an Indiana coal plant “deserves a deeper public debate.” (Fort Wayne Journal Gazette)
• Why solar arrays should use native landscaping. (CleanTechnica)

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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