Daily digest

Hurricane Isaac causes gas prices to jump

COAL: Critics warned it would be a “financial nightmare,” and now a new report shows a controversial Illinois coal plant will charge customers nearly double what it originally promised. (Midwest Energy News)

GAS PRICES: Hurricane Isaac has caused gas prices to spike by more than 10 cents in Illinois, Ohio, and Indiana, which are served by a pipeline forced to shutdown due to the storm. Also, BP admitted Wednesday to shipping 4.7 million gallons of contaminated gasoline to 557 gas stations in the Midwest. (Associated Press)

WIND: Michigan researchers are collecting data on Lake Michigan wind speeds, which could be used to help plan off-shore wind farms. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

BAKKEN: North Dakota oil field officials showed off new technology Wednesday, including “walking rigs” that can drill multiple wells and water-recycling systems. Meanwhile, the state’s utility commission approved plans for a natural gas processing plant to capture some of the gas that’s currently being flared off. (The Dickinson Press, Associate Press)

FRAC SAND: In a rare face-to-face meeting with mining company representatives, southeastern Minnesota residents voiced concerns Tuesday about the impact frac sand mining could have on the region’s scenery and transportation infrastructure. (Rochester Post-Bulletin)

PIPELINES: Michigan officials say they oppose plans to convert a natural gas pipeline into a crude oil line, saying it will expose consumers to higher heating bills. (Detroit Free Press)

SOLAR: Ohio officials are looking into whether missed and partial loan payments from a Toledo solar firm puts the company in default with a state loan. (Toledo Blade)

NUCLEAR: Maybe Homer Simpson is onto something. Nuclear power reactor operator tops a new list of top-paying jobs that don’t require a college degree. (CNBC)

ETHANOL: More fodder for the fuel-versus-food debate: Two Illinois agricultural economists say a waiver wouldn’t change the amount of ethanol used this year. And high prices are squeezing ethanol producers, too. (McClatchy, NPR)

COMMENTARY: Stephen Lacey says our energy system has never been a “free market,” and that it’s hypocritical to end incentives for renewable energy while continuing them for nuclear and fossil fuels. (Climate Progress)

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