Daily digest

Critics: Ohio drilling tax plan would drain money from state

FRACKING: As Illinois officials finalize fracking regulations that some critics say are too lax, citizens in one rural county are taking the issue to the ballot box. (Midwest Energy News)

ALSO: Critics say an industry-backed drilling tax plan in Ohio could actually drain resources from the state. (Toledo Blade)

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OIL: A Canadian study confirms that diluted bitumen can sink in water under certain conditions; and tougher regulations for rail cars carrying oil won’t be ready until 2015, drawing criticism from a North Dakota senator. (Canadian Press, Houston Chronicle, The Hill)

COAL: Emission upgrades at Illinois coal plants will mean cleaner air for Chicago,  environmental groups file a new challenge to a proposed Indiana coal gasification plant, and a Nebraska utility may have to pay $83 million for pollution upgrades to a Wyoming coal plant. (Chicago Tribune, Associated Press, Lincoln Journal Star)

CLIMATE: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s new energy plan disregards concerns about climate change that were prominent in its 2008 report. (SNL)

MEANWHILE: The Kansas Chamber of Commerce says repealing the state’s renewable energy standard will be among its top legislative priorities this year. (Associated Press)

SOLAR: County officials in Milwaukee consider building a solar farm at the city’s airport, and a report says hydrogen production may be the best way to store solar energy. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Energy Central)

WIND: Operators of a Michigan wind farm will replace 33 turbine blades after one of them broke in November. (Huron Daily Tribune)

ETHANOL: Iowa, Minnesota and Illinois lawmakers meet with the EPA to discuss the renewable fuel standard, and Wisconsin ethanol producers push Gov. Scott Walker to take a stand on the issue. (Des Moines Register, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

FRAC SAND: Frac sand mining opponents will host a summit in Winona, Minnesota this weekend. (Winona Daily News)

NUCLEAR: An investigation finds Exelon is among the leading contributors of so-called “dark money” to nonprofits, spending millions primarily to promote nuclear power. (Center for Public Integrity)

MEDIA: An analysis finds coverage of climate change in major newspapers declined last year. (Grist)

COMMENTARY: Why businesses and investors can’t afford to ignore climate change. (GreenBiz)

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