FRACKING: In ‘rare defeat’ of oil and gas industry, Ohio Republicans change their minds and make last-minute, bipartisan push to ban fracking in state parks. (Columbus Dispatch)

MICHIGAN: Transitioning to 30 to 40 percent renewable energy with an emphasis on efficiency would be a ‘tremendous shift’ for the coal-heavy state. (Utility Dive)

 ***SPONSORED LINK: Join venture capitalists, civic leaders, and industry executives on April 14 at the Clean Energy Challenge in Chicago to watch fourteen cleantech startups compete for $1 million in total funding.***

•  A series of bills involving renewables, regulatory oversight, efficiency and nuclear plants have an uncertain future in the state legislature. (Midwest Energy News)
•  Faith group looks to extend community solar opportunities to low-income residents, saying many are blocked access. (Midwest Energy News) 

OIL TRANSPORT: A populous Minnesota county will spend nearly $2 million to buy up land in the name of public safety so freight haulers can’t use it to move oil from North Dakota. (Minneapolis StarTribune)

COAL TO GAS: Two coal plants in Wisconsin could be converted to run on natural gas by the end of the year. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

•  U.S. Sen. Rob Portman bashes former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland on coal record in new ads. (Columbus Dispatch)
•  Despite falling prices, natural gas production in Ohio’s portion of the Utica Shale is expected to grow. (Columbus Dispatch)
•  Ohio State University seeks to build a $2.5 million compressed natural gas station by next year. (Columbus Business First)

COAL: ‘The king of American coal,’ Robert Murray, is profiled as his company prepares to buy a controlling stake in a company founded by his longtime rival. (Wall Street Journal)

POLICY: For public land, the Obama administration will encourage wind and solar and pursue tougher standards for oil and gas development in last 22 months in office. (Washington Post) 

RELIABILITY: Voters in a Missouri city next month will vote on whether to allow the local utility to bond for electric upgrades or possibly face even higher rate increases in the future. (Missourian)

ELECTION: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker defends his stance on ethanol subsidies, a key policy issue in Iowa leading up to the 2016 election. (Crain’s Chicago Business)

SOLAR: A consumer watchdog group in Portland, Oregon warns that a local utility should not use Wisconsin as a model as it seeks to raise base rates for customers amid growth of rooftop solar. (Portland Business Journal)

BUDGET: House Republicans release a non-binding budget blueprint that focuses on more domestic energy production, less regulations. (Greenwire)

RPS: A Kansas state House panel is scheduled to vote today on whether to freeze the state’s renewable portfolio standard. (Associated Press)

APPOINTMENT: Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder appoints a utility executive to run the state Treasury Department. (Associated Press) 

BILLING: AEP Ohio says it would be lawful for the utility to remotely disconnect ratepayers with smart meters who don’t make payments, eliminating the need for final in-person notice in most cases. (Columbus Business First) 

***SPONSORED LINK: Join Wind on the Wires March 19 for the “Energizing the Future” gala featuring former FERC Chair Jon Wellinghoff & former Congressman Bob Inglis. Reduced rates for NGOs.***

BIOFUEL: A team looking to build a biofuel plant in North Dakota that turns industrially grown beets into ethanol is holding public meetings this week. (Associated Press)

COMMENTARY: Energy policy that does not focus on affordability, reliability and the environment will stall the economic recovery in Michigan. (Lansing State Journal)

Andy compiles the Midwest Energy News digest and was a journalism fellow for Midwest Energy News from 2014-2020. He is managing editor of MiBiz in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and was formerly a reporter and editor at City Pulse, Lansing’s alternative newsweekly.

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