Daily digest

MidAmerican announces locations for Iowa wind farms

ALEC: After a failed effort last year to overturn state renewable energy standards, the American Legislative Exchange Council has new tactics to weaken the laws. (Midwest Energy News)

WIND: MidAmerican announces five Iowa counties that will be part of its wind energy expansion, and a new report shows rapid growth in the small-wind sector last year. (Des Moines Register, EarthTechling)

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TRANSMISSION: Ten years ago in Ohio, a tree branch set off the largest power outage in U.S. history. What have we learned since then? (EnergyWire)

SOLAR: A new federal report says solar power is twice as expensive to install in the U.S. as it is in Germany, primarily because of permitting and other “soft costs.” (Quartz)

INDIANA: Despite what a judge deems a “betrayal of trust,” charges are dismissed against a former state regulator for his role in a controversial Duke Energy coal plant. (Indianapolis Star)

COAL: Wisconsin regulators award $33,000 to a nonprofit to study the viability of converting a We Energies coal plant to natural gas, and the nation’s largest miners union reaches a settlement with Patriot Coal on wage and benefit cuts for workers. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Associated Press)

POLITICS: Rural co-ops denounce President Obama’s climate plan; and an ad campaign will target the “anti-science, anti-climate wing of Congress,” including a Wisconsin senator and representatives from Michigan and Illinois. (The Hill)

CLIMATE: Extreme weather is contributing to a shift in perception among rural Iowans on climate change. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

FRACKING: Backers of a ballot measure to ban fracking in Youngstown, Ohio submit signatures for certification, and say they will keep trying if the measure fails again. (Youngstown Vindicator)

TRANSPORTATION: A Cincinnati company rolls out its first all-electric paratransit buses, which are expected to go 100 miles on a charge. (Cincinnati Business Courier)

COMMENTARY: Why electric cars will always be cleaner than gasoline, and a Tea Party leader explains why she’s teaming up with the Sierra Club to support solar power. (NRDC Switchboard, Grist)

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