Daily digest

Liberal lawmakers target tax breaks for fossil fuels

EFFICIENCY: A Michigan organization helps small cities tackle a major backlog of efficiency projects, which can be difficult to obtain funding for. (Midwest Energy News)

POLICY: Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders introduce legislation that would end tax breaks for fossil fuels. (The Hill)

***SPONSORED LINK: Register for the Midwest Solar Expo today! Join the solar industry in advancing the Midwest solar market on May 13-14 in Minneapolis. Network with strategic players and learn about solar opportunities in your area.***

CLEAN POWER PLAN: A U.S. Chamber of Commerce director tells a North Dakota coal industry conference he expects EPA carbon rules will be defeated in court. (Bismarck Tribune)

COAL:
• The Sierra Club will launch TV ads today targeting two Minnesota utilities for their reliance on coal. (Midwest Energy News)
• A Wisconsin utility says it is recycling 100 percent of its coal waste, with a large portion going to produce gypsum for fertilizer. (WISN-TV)

WIND: Nebraska lawmakers advance a bill that will create a tax credit for wind energy. (Omaha World-Herald)

SOLAR:
• A solar industry group targets an Ohio utility, saying it uses “shady tactics” to “stifle competition” from rooftop solar. (Columbus Dispatch)
• A downtown St. Paul district cooling utility announces it will get roughly half its electricity from community solar. (St. Paul Pioneer Press)

MINNESOTA: Minnesota’s House and Senate, each controlled by a different party, approve drastically different energy bills. (Associated Press)

MISSOURI: More than 20 organizations announce the formation of the Missouri Clean Energy Coalition, which will focus on economic and health benefits of renewable power. (Columbia Missourian)

OHIO: A utility executive says “substantial turnover is a challenge” at the state’s Public Utility Commission. (Columbus Business First)

OIL AND GAS:
• A drilling executive predicts half of U.S. fracking companies will go out of business or be sold by the end of the year. (Bloomberg)
• Drilling companies test a technique to generate electricity from fracking wastewater. (Bloomberg)
• Opponents of a proposed oil pipeline rally at the Iowa capitol. (Des Moines Register)
• A Thai/Japanese joint venture has chosen Ohio as the site for a new petrochemical plant. (Columbus Business First)

HYDROPOWER: A Wisconsin co-op announces it will purchase a hydropower plant at a former paper mill site. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

***SPONSORED LINK: What is the media’s role in addressing environmental challenges? Join Ensia magazine for a conversation with journalist Marc Gunther May 20 at the University of Minnesota. Free and open to the public.***

TECHNOLOGY: How liquid-based “flow” batteries could provide energy storage for the grid. (New York Times)

COMMENTARY:
• On the Clean Power Plan, “history shows that utilities and states have successfully handled every significant change under the Clean Air Act for a generation. This time will be no different.” (U.S. News and World Report)
• Cutting funding for a Wisconsin ratepayer advocacy group “would not level the playing field — it would bulldoze it.” (Racine Journal Times)

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