Daily digest

Illinois House could take up fracking bill today

FRACKING: After languishing for several weeks, an Illinois bill to regulate fracking is approved by a legislative committee and could go before the full House as early as today. (Chicago Tribune)

OHIO: Utilities seek an amendment that would make consumers, rather than shareholders, responsible for the cost of cleaning up old coal gasification sites. (Columbus Dispatch)

WIND: How an Xcel-backed weather forecasting program will make it easier to integrate wind power into the grid, and tax breaks for wind farms move closer to approval by the Nebraska legislature. (Midwest Energy News, Associated Press)

EFFICIENCY: Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz backs a federal energy efficiency bill; and Consumers Energy awarded $4.3 million in efficiency funds in the first quarter of this year, netting an anticipating $5 million per year in energy savings. (The Hill, MLive.com)

OIL: After it was featured in the New York Times, Michigan Rep. John Conyers calls for an investigation of a large petroleum coke pile building up along the Detroit River; refinery outages send gasoline prices soaring in Minnesota; and President Obama threatens to veto a bill forcing approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, which is unlikely to reach his desk anyway. (Detroit Free Press, Minneapolis Star Tribune, The Hill)

ALSO: The oil industry says the EPA is unfairly limiting the comment period on new regulations for motor fuel. (The Hill)

FRAC SAND: The sand mining boom brings with it a sharp increase in political contributions to lawmakers in Wisconsin; meanwhile, Wisconsin’s DNR will likely get funding for two additional inspectors to keep up with the industry, instead of the 10 that it sought. (LaCrosse Tribune, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

ELECTRIC CARS: There are now 100,000 plug-in cars on U.S. roads; and for some buyers, taking advantage of lease deals and tax credits can make an electric car essentially free. (Green Car Reports, Wall Street Journal)

GEOTHERMAL: A suburban Chicago park district is expected to save as much as $2,000 per year after installing geothermal heating and cooling at an interpretive center. (Chicago Tribune)

COMMENTARY: The GOP turns a light shade of green, and how a “force field of tedium” limits public discussion of utility structures. (National Journal, Grist)

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