Daily digest

Employees, towns await fate of Illinois coal plants

OHIO: While a decision last week by Ohio regulators rebuked FirstEnergy for overpaying for renewable energy credits, several points of contention in the dispute remain shrouded in secrecy. (Midwest Energy News)

COAL: The fate of two-thirds of Illinois coal plants could be determined in the next two years, leaving workers and communities uncertain about their futures. (Chicago Tribune)

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• A pipeline company already facing state fines for spills in Ohio continues to pollute waterways. (Columbus Dispatch)
• Exxon knew a pipeline that ruptured in Arkansas earlier this year was vulnerable. (InsideClimate News)
• Amid the Keystone XL debate, towns in Arkansas and Michigan are still recovering from pipeline spills. (New York Times)
• An eyewitness contradicts TransCanada’s claim that it was the first to discover a leak at a North Dakota pipeline in 2011. (EnergyWire)
• The ongoing oil leak in the Alberta oil sands highlights concerns about “in situ” extraction. (New York Times)
• The oil sands industry suggests algae-based carbon capture technology could lower its climate footprint. (Bloomberg)
• Water demand for drilling in North Dakota is leveling off after years of growth. (Forum News Service)
• Landfill operators in Ohio see big business in oil field waste. (Youngstown Vindicator)

COAL ASH: EPA data shows two Michigan sites are among 18 nationwide where coal ash is polluting water, a utility disputes the report. (MLive)

ALSO: Legislation in Missouri would allow a utility to bypass part of the permitting process for new coal ash sites after a state agency rejected several possible locations. (Springfield News-Leader)

MINNEAPOLIS: The push to form a municipal utility in Minneapolis begins to slow down. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

TRANSMISSION: A White House report, citing billions of dollars in costs from power outages, calls for increased spending on the grid. (Associated Press)

NATURAL GAS: A Wisconsin utility plans to build a new natural gas power plant by 2019. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

ETHANOL: A Minnesota co-op begins work on a new ethanol plant next to the idle Spiritwood coal plant in North Dakota. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

EFFICIENCY: A Michigan town installs new LED lighting and electric car charging stations with help from a nonprofit, and the University of Akron will make $60 million in energy improvements. (CBS Detroit, Columbus Dispatch)

TRANSPORTATION: An annual auto industry conference in Michigan explores how cars of the future will be powered, among other topics. (MLive)

COMMENTARY: Why state renewable energy standards are hard to repeal. (Washington Post)

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