Daily digest

Former coal executive charged in 2010 mine disaster

COAL: A former coal company executive is charged with four criminal counts for alleged negligence in a 2010 mine disaster that killed 29 workers. (New York Times)

CLIMATE: George Heartwell, mayor of Grand Rapids, Michigan, talks about his city’s effort to reach 100 percent renewable energy by 2020. (Midwest Energy News)

WISCONSIN: Advocates say an analysis of online comments shows widespread public opposition to utility plans to increase fixed charges. (Daily Cardinal)

UTILITIES: Why American Electric Power is focusing more on transmission than generation. (Columbus Dispatch)

OIL AND GAS:
• North Dakota delays a decision on rail car safety. (Bismarck Tribune)
• An Iowa economist says he is “very skeptical” of an industry study claiming $1 billion in economic benefits from a proposed pipeline. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)
• “Oklahoma has become the new California” for earthquake activity. (Omaha World-Herald)
A worker is killed in an explosion at an Ohio drilling site. (Columbus Dispatch)
• A report warns that water is increasingly the limiting factor for whether drilling operations are profitable. (Bloomberg)

NUCLEAR: In a case that could have implications in Illinois, Exelon wins regulatory support to keep a New York nuclear plant operating; and a contractor sues Xcel over disputed charges for work on a Minnesota nuclear plant. (Bloomberg, Minneapolis Star Tribune)

SOLAR: Solar becomes more mainstream in farm country. (Farm & Ranch Guide)

TRANSPORTATION: Michigan lawmakers vote to double the state’s gasoline tax, and Lincoln, Nebraska buys new natural gas-powered buses. (Associated Press, Lincoln Journal Star)

HYDROPOWER: A Minnesota hydro plant is operating again after damage from a 2012 flood. (Forum News Service)

COMMENTARY: A Wisconsin county issues a puzzling declaration about a wind farm, and why power lines are a better deal for Iowans than pipelines. (Green Bay Press-Gazette, Des Moines Register)

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