Daily digest

Frac sand mines more than double in Wisconsin

FRACKING: The shale boom in Pennsylvania prompts construction of a new ethane pipeline across Ohio, sparking land-use fights along the way. (Midwest Energy News)

ALSO: The number of frac sand mines in Wisconsin has more than doubled in the past year, and scientists say both sides of the emotional fracking debate are “basically not using science.” (Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, Associated Press)

SOLAR: China escalates the solar trade conflict with the United States, announcing a probe of U.S. polysilicon exports; Xcel’s decision to drop a solar incentive program draws opposition from economic, industry and political leaders throughout Minnesota; and a troubled Ohio solar firm owes the state $1.5 million in back loan payments. (Greenwire, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Toledo Blade)

EPA: The agency said Friday it will review its mercury rules for power plants, taking into account new industry information; and a federal court Friday rejected a challenge to EPA sulfur dioxide standards. (Reuters, Greenwire)

OIL: Minnesota Rep. Collin Peterson calls on federal regulators to ensure “discriminatory practices” aren’t preventing pipelines from being built to move oil out of North Dakota, Enbridge plans a new 35-mile pipeline in Michigan, and Hyperion officials ask the South Dakota Supreme Court to expedite a hearing on appeals to the air permit for its proposed refinery near Sioux City, Iowa. (Reuters, AnnArbor.com, Sioux Falls Argus Leader)

TRANSPORTATION: Chevy Volts have collectively traveled more than 100 million miles, running 2/3 of the time in electric mode; and while regulators only review 15 percent of cars’ posted mileage figures, strong incentives generally keep the auto industry in compliance. (CleanTechnica, Detroit Free Press)

NATURAL GAS: The Department of Energy announces $30 million in research awards for natural gas vehicles, with most of that money going toward improving fuel tanks. (EnergyWire)

CLIMATE: Former GOP Rep. Bob Inglis says Republicans are “holding on to shaky ideology” on climate change “that really will be overwhelmed by the facts.” (The Hill)

HYDRO: A Minnesota ethanol producer has decided against purchasing a 1905 dam, meaning Xcel Energy will likely demolish the structure unless another buyer comes forward. (West Central Tribune)

GEOTHERMAL: Ball State University enters the second phase of its massive geothermal energy project. (Clean Technica)

COMMENTARY: Simon Chapman, an Australian public health researcher, calls “wind turbine syndrome” a “communicated” disease, and “a strong candidate for being defined as a psychogenic condition”; the Grand Forks Herald says a Midwestern “energy corridor” centered around North Dakota could become America’s new Sunbelt; the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says ignoring the warning signs of climate change is “not a safe bet”; and David Leonhardt says there are still signs of hope we can continue reducing carbon emissions. (The Conversation, Grand Forks Herald, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, New York Times)

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