Daily digest

Despite veto threat, Nebraska governor signs wind bill

WIND: Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman signs wind energy tax breaks into law, a measure that he had earlier threatened to veto. (Omaha World-Herald)

GRID: As the Midwest faces more coal plant retirements, the region’s primary grid operator considers a longer-term planning outlook. (Midwest Energy News)

MICHIGAN: DTE Energy has been able to cut operating costs while meeting Michigan’s renewable energy benchmarks, and announces it will lower its renewable energy rate surcharge from $3 to 43 cents. (MLive.com)

COAL: Like Illinois, Indiana coal producers consider ramping up exports in response to declining domestic demand; and a bill in the U.S. House would override EPA coal ash regulations. (Platts, The Hill)

FRACKING: Major oil and gas drilling in Illinois is unlikely to begin until next year, as new regulations will take several months to implement; and another Ohio company is accused of illegally dumping wastewater. (Associated Press, Columbus Dispatch)

FRAC SAND: After lifting its moratorium, a Minnesota county approves its first new frac sand mining operation, with at least 40 conditions. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

TECHNOLOGY: In a Minnesota pilot project, an Ohio company is testing a new type of taconite pellet that would enable steel to be made using electricity instead of traditional blast furnaces. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

ALSO: A Wisconsin company is awarded $2.4 million to develop a process to cut manufacturing costs of LED bulbs, and a solar-powered airplane makes a stop in St. Louis. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

EFFICIENCY: A bipartisan energy efficiency bill in the U.S. Senate could be sunk by controversial amendments, and the New York Times profiles Walgreens’ net-zero store under construction outside Chicago. (Politico, New York Times)

BIOFUELS: The oil and gas industry wants the Supreme Court to strike down an EPA decision allowing the sale of E15 ethanol blends. (The Hill)

POLLUTION: A Wisconsin biomass power plant will pay $150,000 to settle pollution violations. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

TRANSPORTATION: Faced with a road-funding shortfall, Michigan considers a $75 fee for hybrid and electric vehicles. (MLive.com)

COMMENTARY: How utilities can adapt to the 21st century. (Grist)

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