Daily digest

Critics: North Dakota seeks to limit public input on oil and gas cases

BIOFUELS: In what has so far been a nascent industry in the U.S., a major biogas producer that turns livestock manure into energy is expected to expand operations this summer with a new Missouri plant. (Midwest Energy News)

ALSO:
• Iowa lawmakers approve a 10-year, $10 million tax credit for producers of chemicals that will provide the building blocks for next-generation biofuels. (The Gazette)
Missouri lawmakers advance a bill to extend incentives for ethanol producers. (The Missouri Times)

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OIL AND GAS:
Critics say a proposed rule change for oil and gas hearings in North Dakota would significantly limit public participation in the process. (Forum News Service)
• North Dakota officials say it will be a lengthy, difficult process for a company seeking an air permit to build a refinery near a national park. (Bismarck Tribune)
North Dakota’s governor says the state has a “strong and growing” economic base that is helping it weather the industry downturn. (Associated Press)

SOLAR:
• An Iowa electric cooperative’s first foray into solar energy will create the state’s largest single project at 5 megawatts. (Electric Co-Op Today)
• A new industry report shows an average 5 percent drop in installation costs around the country in 2015. (PV Magazine)

COAL: Former coal executive Don Blankenship is sentenced to a year in prison – the maximum allowed – and a $250,000 fine for knowingly violating safety standards. (New York Times)

WASTE-TO-ENERGY: Officials terminate plans for an energy park in Ohio that would have diverted landfill waste to produce energy after the developer failed to pay its bills. (Columbus Business First)

PIPELINES: Critics of a planned natural gas pipeline that will pass through Ohio want the developer to prove that it will actually benefit customers in the state. (Chronicle-Telegram)

EFFICIENCY: Combining demand response and energy efficiency programs could be the next wave of utility spending as a way to lower customer bills. (Utility Dive)

UTILITIES: Ameren Illinois will file plans with state regulators for a $14 million rate decrease, though it is much smaller than the amount rates have increased in recent years. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

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EMISSIONS: Illinois will resume mailing vehicle emission-test notices to drivers following a state budget impasse. (WLS-TV)

COMMENTARY:
• A new report shows the “clean energy economy is well under way in the Midwest.” (MinnPost)
Pipelines are a better alternative for moving oil through North Dakota than trucks or trains. (Bismarck Tribune)
Energy efficiency and renewables helps Michigan’s agriculture industry thrive. (MLive)

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