PIPELINES: A spill from an oil pipeline beneath the Straits of Mackinac in Michigan could cost as much as $1 billion to clean up, according to state documents. (MLive)

CLIMATE: Hundreds of activists target a refinery near Chicago as part of a national day of protests targeting the fossil fuel industry. (Chicago Tribune)

POLITICS: A loophole for LLCs in Indiana’s campaign finance law enabled a firm tied to an Ohio coal company to donate $95,000 to Gov. Mike Pence. (Associated Press)

EFFICIENCY: A Minnesota utility’s program helps small municipalities engage citizens and businesses on energy efficiency. (Midwest Energy News)

• The EPA says new methane rules will increase wholesale natural gas costs less than 1 percent. (RTO Insider)
• March’s decline in oil production in North Dakota was lower than state officials had projected. (Platts)

WIND: An Ohio utility seeks proposals for 500 MW of new wind energy. (Columbus Business First)

Wisconsin’s largest solar array is expected to go online as early as next month. (Janesville Gazette)
• An Indiana co-op begins installing solar arrays as part of its push to get 10 percent of its electricity from renewables. (Daily Journal)
• An Ohio company is contracted to build a 4.8 MW solar project in Maine. (Portland Press Herald)

POLICY: Michigan’s electric choice market is at the heart of the state’s energy debate. (Detroit News)

UTILITIES: Analysts say a Missouri utility’s interest in mergers and acquisitions is “puzzling.” (SNL Energy)

ECONOMY: Towns in Illinois and Nebraska prepare for the economic impacts of power plants shutting down. (Belleville News-Democrat, Omaha World-Herald)

TRANSMISSION: Local governments in a Wisconsin county will receive $1.8 million in environmental impact fees from development of a new transmission line. (Baraboo News Republic)

GRID: Prompted by the Flint water crisis, Michigan lawmakers seek $165 million for infrastructure upgrades, including electric and natural gas lines. (Associated Press)

TECHNOLOGY: A Wisconsin company has raised $4 million to develop more efficient lithium-ion batteries. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

BIOFUELS: Iowa scientists study the potential of prairie grasses as a biofuel feedstock. (Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier)

• A Minnesota legislator claims trees cleared for a Minnesota solar array would have offset more carbon than the solar array itself. (Northfield News)
• “At some point, coal jobs in Southern Illinois will go away entirely. Your legislator cannot — or will not — admit that.” (Carbondale Southern Illinoisan)

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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