Daily digest

Emissions rise, but not as fast as economic growth

CLIMATE: U.S. carbon emissions rose slightly in 2014, but at a slower rate than economic growth. (The Hill)

BIOENERGY:
• Iowa seeks to become a leader in biofuels made from animal manure and other organic waste. (Midwest Energy News)
• The Detroit Zoo is raising funds for a biodigester that will be powered by the 400 tons of manure produced by its animals each year. (MLive)

***SPONSORED LINK: Register for the Midwest Solar Expo today! Join the solar industry in advancing the Midwest solar market on May 13-14 in Minneapolis. Network with strategic players and learn about solar opportunities in your area.***

PIPELINES: Critics say the federal agency overseeing pipeline safety is understaffed and too closely tied to the industry it regulates. (Politico)

UTILITIES: Chicago ends its municipal aggregation program after determining it can’t provide a better deal for customers. (Crain’s Chicago Business)

ILLINOIS: Clean-energy advocates square off with utilities over three major pieces of energy legislation. (Utility Dive)

SOLAR: Chicago officials pursue community solar gardens. (Curbed Chicago)

GRID:
• Illinois’ attorney general has “serious concerns” about a MISO capacity auction that will cause costs to soar in part of Illinois. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
• RES Americas announces a new 6 MW storage facility in Ohio. (ReNews)

COAL: Plans to shut down an Indiana coal plant may face opposition from a small railroad that depends heavily on coal shipments. (Indianapolis Star)

OIL AND GAS:
• North Dakota passes a bill calling for tougher pipeline oversight. (UPI)
• A Thai company is considering Ohio as a site for a plant to produce petrochemicals from natural gas. (Columbus Business First)
• A drilling company is doing damage control after setting off a 3,000 acre wildfire in North Dakota. (Bismarck Tribune)
• Kansas is seeing fewer earthquakes after enacting new restrictions on fracking wastewater disposal. (Hutchinson News)

EFFICIENCY:
• Cuyahoga County, Ohio launches a program aimed at raising $120 million for energy efficiency efforts. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
• A Minnesota utility exceeds state efficiency targets for the fifth year in a row. (Mesabi Daily News)

***SPONSORED LINK: What is the media’s role in addressing environmental challenges? Join Ensia magazine for a conversation with journalist Marc Gunther May 20 at the University of Minnesota. Free and open to the public.***

WILDLIFE: An Iowa utility takes steps to protect birds after an eagle was recently electrocuted on a power line. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

COMMENTARY: 
• Why cutting funding for a Minnesota Wisconsin consumer watchdog is “clearing the field for the utilities in rate cases.” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
• “Now is not the time to revert to old policies” in Minnesota. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
• Exelon says Dynegy’s opposition to a Low Carbon Portfolio Standard bill is so it can make more money off of its coal plants. (Reboot Illinois)

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