Daily digest

In a first, no takers for Wyoming coal mining leases

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COAL: A Department of Energy report says carbon capture technology won’t be enough to save many Midwest and East Coast coal plants from retirement; a carbon capture pilot project is underway in Michigan; and for the first time, a federal auction of Wyoming coal leases receives no bids. (Greenwire, Transmission & Distribution World, Casper Star-Tribune)

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OIL: Enbridge moves forward with plans for a $2.5 billion pipeline across North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin; and a Michigan brewery prevails in its effort to stop an Enbridge plan to state dredging operations near its facility along the Kalamazoo River. (Minneapolis Star Tribune, Kalamazoo Gazette)

FRAC SAND: Wisconsin officials reject a permit for a controversial frac sand mine that is subject of a conflict-of-interest lawsuit, and sand miners rush to get plans approved ahead of a Wisconsin county’s moratorium, (KWWL, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Winona Daily News)

CLIMATE: House Republicans plan a hearing on the Obama administration’s “climate change policies and activities” while Rep. Henry Waxman suggests they might want to hear from scientists on the issue; and the League of Conservation voters launches their latest ads targeting lawmakers who reject climate science, including representatives from Michigan and Illinois. (National Journal, The Hill, YouTube)

ETHANOL: The Federal Trade Commission says it will investigate two senators’ complaints that the oil industry is blocking adoption of renewable fuels. (Des Moines Register)

EFFICIENCY: The St. Paul Port Authority offers $10 million in bonds to fund Minnesota PACE programs, and GE adds jobs at lighting plants in Ohio and Illinois in response to increased demand for more efficient bulbs. (Minneapolis Star Tribune, Associated Press)

GRID: Ameren opens a smart grid testing center in Illinois. (Electric Light & Power)

POLLUTION: Wayne State University is working on new technology that could further cut mercury pollution from coal plants. (CBS Detroit)

OHIO: Toledo celebrates the one-year anniversary of its municipal utility, which so far has only one customer. (Toledo Blade)

NUCLEAR: The NRC’s chief watchdog criticizes the agency for making publicly available documents too complex to understand. (Greenwire)

WASTE-TO-ENERGY: An Iowa town approves plans for a $20 million plant that will convert municipal waste into electricity. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

COMMENTARY: Why the U.S. power grid is “doomed to obsolescence.” (Bloomberg)

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