• How a dispute over demand charges – a fixed fee based on a homeowner’s peak usage – has become central to the debate over energy legislation in Illinois. (Midwest Energy News)
• FirstEnergy’s CEO reflects on the company’s weakened financial position. (Crain’s Cleveland Business)

• Why North Dakota may have seen its last oil boom. (EnergyWire)
• Illinois’ attorney general reaches a settlement with operators of a refinery over contamination of the Mississippi River. (St. Louis Business Journal)

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PIPELINES: Supporters of the Dakota Access pipeline protests use Facebook check-ins to try to confuse law enforcement. (InsideClimate News)

NUCLEAR: Federal data show natural gas is currently taking up most of the slack as nuclear plants retire. (Greentech Media)

OHIO: In a wide-ranging interview, Gov. John Kasich reiterates that he’ll resists efforts by lawmakers to weaken or repeal the state’s renewable energy standards. (Columbus Dispatch)

SOUTH DAKOTA: A Lakota solar advocate and an incumbent public utility commissioner meet face to face in a public forum to discuss the state’s PUC race. (Watertown Public Opinion)

CLIMATE: How Detroit climate activists are planning for a warmer city. (Model D Media)

GRID: A Michigan utility says it will complete smart meter installations by the end of this year, ahead of schedule. (MLive)

COAL: A Minnesota fertilizer plant, supplied by by-products from Ohio coal plant scrubbers, shuts down amid low demand. (Winona Daily News)

TECHNOLOGY: A state grant will help a Minnesota tribe train workers in the solar field. (Brainerd Dispatch)

TRANSMISSION: A series of public hearings will be held this week on a proposed transmission line connecting Madison and Dubuque. (Wisconsin State Journal)

BIOENERGY: Operators of a biodigester in a Sioux City suburb reach an agreement with neighbors over odor issues. (Sioux City Journal)

POLITICS: Voting to increase gasoline taxes appears to be “a non-issue” for state legislators seeking re-election this year. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

COMMENTARY: Clean energy presents new opportunities for communities when coal plants shut down. (St. Cloud Times)

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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