Daily digest

1 in 17 Minnesotans live within evacuation zone of oil routes

MICHIGAN: In a new video, prominent state Republicans explain why it’s important that conservatives be involved in shaping clean-energy policy. (Midwest Energy News)

MINNESOTA
•  As Gov. Dayton seeks rail safety improvements, transportation officials note that more than 300,000 Minnesota residents live within a half mile of routes transporting oil from North Dakota. (Minnesota Public Radio)
•  Another look at the split in the state legislature over clean power versus cheap power. (Minneapolis Public Radio)
•  Minnesota is losing clout on transportation policy in Congress. (MinnPost)

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CLEAN POWER PLAN
•  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell begins a state-by-state campaign to block the president’s climate change agenda. (New York Times)
•  A Kansas House panel approves a process for state-level compliance with the plan. (Associated Press)

ILLINOIS: ComEd joins state energy politics by backing legislation in response to a clean-energy and jobs bill introduced earlier this year by clean-energy groups. (Crain’s Chicago Business) 

COAL: While not doing so publicly, U.S. coal companies in mandatory financial disclosures acknowledge the link between fossil fuels and climate change. (Greenwire)

OIL AND GAS
•  A Minnesota town’s opposition to a rail expansion that allows freighters to move oil is part of a bigger trend of local opposition to these projects, though those efforts can be hamstrung. (EnergyWire)
•  Experts are unsure why seismic activity related to fracking is an issue in other states but not North Dakota. (Prairie Business)
•  Meanwhile, Kansas regulators order drilling operations in two counties to reduce the amount water injected underground to protect against earthquakes. (Associated Press)

EMINENT DOMAIN: A fifth-generation Minnesota farmer is successful against 11 utilities after they used eminent domain to run transmission lines across his property. (KTSP-TV)

TRANSMISSION: The bulk of FirstEnergy’s plan to spend $120 million on upgrades to its electric system in northwest Ohio will go towards distribution and transmission. (Toledo Blade)

EMISSIONS: Obama says it’s ‘important to lead by example’ by ordering the federal government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent and increase its renewable portfolio. (Associated Press)

COMPLIANCE: While much of Wisconsin Energy Corp.’s attention has been on issues in the Upper Peninsula, Illinois regulators are investigating problems with a Chicago natural gas utility Wisconsin Energy wants to take over with merger. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

ETHANOL: The U.S. Department of Transportation has added ethanol to its list of hazardous liquids as part of amendments to pipeline safety regulations. (Biofuels Digest)

COMMENTARY: The utility-backed myth on the need for higher fixed rates to account for distributed generation. (Utility Dive)

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