Daily digest

FutureGen coal plant likely dead as feds pull funding

COAL: The Department of Energy suspends funding for the FutureGen “clean coal” plant in Illinois, likely killing the project. (Crain’s Chicago Business)

ALSO: A closer look at efforts to mine for coal on Ohio parklands, mining and other business interests join the case against Minnesota’s policies on imported coal power, and Indiana regulators will hear arguments on who should pay for cost overruns for the Edwardsport power plant. (Midwest Energy News, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Indianapolis Star)

***SPONSORED LINK: Early Bird prices end this Saturday for the CERTs 2015 Conference on March 10-11 in St. Cloud. Register now to save, and join hundreds of Minnesotans building a clean energy future in their communities! ***

EPA: A consulting firm says the EPA misused its report in setting efficiency rates for power plants, and the agency urges the State Department to “revisit” its climate assessment of Keystone XL. (SNL, Greenwire)

COAL ASH: Missouri’s Supreme Court orders a new hearing on a lawsuit over a proposed coal ash landfill. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

ETHANOL: Falling ethanol prices rattle farmers, but industry experts are hopeful for a rebound. (Chicago Tribune)

EFFICIENCY: Two Chicago suburbs install new “smart” LED streetlights, Illinois is the top state for LEED-certified buildings, and Kalamazoo County may be the latest to sign on to a Michigan PACE district. (CBS Chicago, Chicago Tribune, MLive)

FRAC SAND: A controversial Minnesota frac sand mining project is revived. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

TRANSMISSION: Ohio customers will begin to see higher bills for transmission upgrades. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

SMART GRID: Why smart meters aren’t creating energy savings so far, and how new sensor technology could ease power outages. (Washington Post, New York Times)

TRANSPORTATION: Duluth, Minnesota receives a $6 million federal grant for electric buses and two charging stations. (KQDS)

COMMENTARY: Six charts that show renewable energy is getting cheaper. (Grist)

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