SOLAR: A solar project in Minnesota that involved clear-cutting acres of trees has attracted the attention of state lawmakers. (Midwest Energy News)

UTILITIES: A revised plan to save struggling plants put forward by Ohio utility FirstEnergy is still fatally flawed, critics say, and continues to put ratepayers at risk. (Midwest Energy News)

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IOWA: U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz praises state leaders for partnering aggressive clean energy goals with economic development. (The Gazette)

GASOLINE: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker declares a statewide energy emergency after a portion of a gasoline pipeline between Milwaukee and Green Bay was shut down. (Wisconsin State Journal)

• Officials say mechanical failure led to a 400-foot wind turbine collapsing in Michigan in February. (Huron Daily Tribune)
The legislative debate over Ohio’s clean energy standards continues the uncertainty around a controversial wind project there. (Dayton Daily News)

• North Dakota health officials are using new infrared cameras to detect methane, ethane and other emissions coming from leaking well sites on the Bakken. (Forum News Service)
The industry decline in North Dakota is leading to lower housing prices in one town. (Associated Press)
A truck carrying waste water from an oil well in Ohio was struck by a train, spilling 3,200 gallons of the substance. (Columbus Dispatch)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signs a bill suspending the state’s work on compliance plans. (Wichita Eagle)

CLIMATE: Despite ongoing legal challenges to the Clean Power Plan, the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says the administration will continue cutting carbon emissions and transitioning to cleaner energy. (Associated Press)

FOSSIL FUELS: Six months after the Obama administration rejected the Keystone XL pipeline, at least 20 other fossil-fuel related energy projects have been canceled, rejected or delayed. (InsideClimate News)

FRAC SAND: Industry officials say Wisconsin’s frac sand mining sector is poised for a rebound. (LaCrosse Tribune)

• The developer of the Dakota Access oil pipeline asks Iowa regulators for permission to start construction immediately. (Associated Press)
TransCanada is nearly finished clearing soil from a site in South Dakota where 400 barrels of oil leaked last month. (Rapid City Journal)

STORAGE: Several companies with ties to Milwaukee, Wisconsin are on the front lines of deploying solar-plus-storage systems across the U.S. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

NUCLEAR: Exelon stresses that it will close two struggling Illinois nuclear plants within the next two years if lawmakers do not pass legislation supporting the plants. (RTO Insider)

• The ongoing wildfires in Alberta has cut the oil output in half for the area around boomtown Fort McMurray. (Reuters)
• The fires have also become a flashpoint of controversy within Canada over the country’s role in climate change. (Los Angeles Times)

• A 55-megawatt coal plant in southern Michigan is scheduled to close on May 31. (Associated Press)
• A new report says Indiana’s coal consumption has dropped 37 percent since 2007. (Associated Press)
U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy maintains that the coal industry is declining due to market forces, not federal regulation. (Reuters)

FRACKING: The U.S. gets more of its natural gas from hydraulically fractured wells than ever before, and increased gas consumption now contributes the same amount of greenhouse gases as coal. (Climate Central)

TRANSMISSION: Low-flying helicopters are being deployed in Michigan to inspect transmission lines. (Associated Press)

• The Upper Midwest — while not affected by rising sea levels and stronger hurricanes — still faces public health consequences of climate change. (LaCrosse Tribune)
Through bipartisan support, Ohio needs to move forward with clean-energy policies. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
A pair of recent studies show the need for North Dakota officials to update fracking regulations. (Rapid City Journal)

CORRECTION: An item in last week’s digest incorrectly stated the deadline Ohio utilities faced in filing requests for a re-hearing with state regulators over “bailout” deals. The deadline was May 2.

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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