Daily digest

Illinois governor signs fracking regulatory bill

FRACKING: Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signs a bill to regulate fracking in the state, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich revises his drilling tax proposal but is still unable to gain support from fellow Republicans in the legislature. (Chicago Tribune, Columbus Business First)

FRAC SAND: Railroads are key to the growth of frac sand mining in Minnesota and Wisconsin, as the sand can’t be shipped long-distance by truck economically; and a Wisconsin county will vote tomorrow on a proposed sand mining ban along a scenic stretch of Mississippi River bluffs. (EnergyWire, Rochester Post-Bulletin)

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COAL: Developers of a failed Minnesota clean-coal project won’t have to make payments on $9.5 million in state loans. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

POLITICS: A review of disclosure forms finds one-third of U.S. senators have direct investments in energy firms, and a House bill would cut federal renewable energy spending in half. (E&E Daily, The Hill)

SOLAR: Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz pledges to keep moving forward on solar, saying: “the scale and time frame of impact of solar technology, I believe, is underestimated.” (The Hill)

OIL: In an unprecedented move, a North Dakota county zoning board declines to make a recommendation on a proposed oil waste landfill; and the U.S. becomes a net gasoline exporter for the first time in 50 years. (Bismarck Tribune, Kansas City Star)

NUCLEAR: Michigan’s Palisades nuclear plant is up and running again after a repairs are made following a leak of radioactive water into Lake Michigan, and the Perry nuclear plant in Ohio is shut down to repair a coolant leak. (MLive.com, Cleveland Plain Dealer)

BIOFUELS: The leader of an Iowa ethanol industry group says he’s “optimistic” that more gas stations will begin carrying E15. (Des Moines Register)

TECHNOLOGY: A wind-to-hydrogen plant, similar to a project proposed in Minnesota, is up and running in Germany; and a group of Minnesota inventors, led by actor/writer Rich Kronfeld, develops a prototype for a hybrid bicycle/electric commuter car. (Houston Chronicle, Minneapolis Star Tribune)

ICYMI: Still unclear on how capacity markets work? Here’s an explainer. (Midwest Energy News)

COMMENTARY: The weaknesses of nuclear power are economic, not environmental. (Quartz)

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