EFFICIENCY: Chicago and Kansas City are among ten cities chosen for a national effort, backed by Michael Bloomberg and major nonprofits and philanthropies, aimed at cutting $1 billion in energy costs. (Chicago Sun-Times, Kansas City Star, Greentech Media)
ALSO: Illinois regulators say the state’s largest utility needs to overhaul its three-year plan to be more aggressive on energy efficiency. (Crain’s Chicago Business)
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Is ethanol production to blame? The weather? Experts say there is no simple explanation for this winter’s propane shortages. (Midwest Energy News)
WIND: An Ohio Air Force base suspends plans for a wind turbine amid objections from wildlife groups. (Toledo Blade)
COAL: A St. Louis ballot measure, specifically targeting Peabody Coal, would block tax incentives for any company engaging in “unsustainable” energy production. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
BAKKEN: A North Dakota task force recommends requiring drillers to submit natural gas capture plans in advance among other measures to reduce flaring in the state’s oil patch. (Fargo Forum)
DEREGULATION: Efforts are advancing in Indiana and Michigan to increase competition amid concerns about high electricity rates. (EnergyWire)
BIOFUELS: The Farm Bill includes a provision eliminating subsidies for blender pumps, and the EPA has received more than 15,000 public comments on the Renewable Fuel Standard. (Reuters, Sioux Falls Argus Leader)
FRACKING: Ohio’s attorney general seeks dismissal of an appeal by anti-fracking groups seeking to block construction of a wastewater injection well. (Columbus Dispatch)
CLIMATE: Seventeen foundations controlling $1.8 billion announce plans to divest from fossil fuels. (New York Times)
SOLAR: PolitiFact examines President Obama’s claim of a new solar installation every four minutes, and rates it true.
TRANSPORTATION: An Iowa legislative panel approves a measure to raise the state’s gasoline tax 10 cents per gallon, although Gov. Terry Branstad isn’t embracing the idea; and oil traffic is causing major delays for Amtrak trains. (Cedar Rapids Gazette, Quad-City Times, The Hill)
EDITOR’S NOTE: Yesterday’s digest omitted a link to a story about efforts to establish a sugar beet biofuel industry in North Dakota.