Daily digest

At least 20 states open to carbon trading to comply with Clean Power Plan

WIND: Critics say the conservative political advocacy group Americans for Prosperity is pushing a bill in Kansas to defund a transmission authority as a back-door attempt to block wind energy expansion. (Midwest Energy News)

CLEAN POWER PLAN:
• At least 20 states are open to the idea of carbon trading with other states as a way to meet the federal rules. (ClimateWire)
Grid operator MISO eyes lower-cost compliance options. (Platts)

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COAL: A federal civil rights commission is studying whether coal ash — long a problem in Ohio and other Midwest states — disproportionately affects l0w-income and minority populations. (Columbus Dispatch)

NATURAL GAS: Ratepayer advocacy groups in Wisconsin want state regulators to place a cap on construction costs for a new natural gas plant a utility seeks to build. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

SOLAR:
• Rooftop solar owners who sell their renewable energy credits may not be adding as much renewable energy to the grid as they might think. (Mother Jones)
A Wisconsin-based company has helped one of the largest aquaponics farms in the country go entirely off the grid with solar panels and battery storage. (Pacific Business News)

GEOTHERMAL: A new project is helping to bring a National Guard base in Minnesota to net-zero energy consumption. (Brainerd Dispatch)

BIOFUELS:
• Iowa is awarded $2.5 million to install new blender pumps and underground storage tanks to distribute higher blends of biofuels throughout the state. (The Gazette)
All six members of Iowa’s congressional delegation call on the U.S. EPA to increase biofuel standards for 2017 and 2018. (Radio Iowa)

OIL AND GAS:
• Leaders at a worldwide forum on business and politics say sinking oil and gas prices is creating less of an incentive to reduce emissions through renewable fuels. (Associated Press)
The International Energy Agency says crude oil prices may fall even farther this year due to low demand, warm winter weather and an oversupply. (Associated Press)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Low gas prices have led electric-vehicle sales to fall short of President Obama’s goals laid out in 2008. (Reuters)

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POLITICS: Republican in-fighting plays out in Iowa as Gov. Terry Branstad hopes Ted Cruz loses the Iowa caucuses based on his position against ethanol mandates. (Radio Iowa)

COMMENTARY:
• Climate “contrarian” scientists representing Peabody Energy at a hearing in Minnesota use nearly identical misleading arguments that were made during a recent climate hearing held by Sen. Ted Cruz in Washington. (The Guardian)
A “fee-and-dividend” plan for carbon emissions can help the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy without harming the poor and killing good-paying jobs. (Duluth News Tribune)

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