Daily digest

3M to offer solar discount as an employee perk

SOLAR: GM plans a 2.2 MW solar array at an Ohio assembly plant, which would be the company’s fifth-largest solar installation. (Youngstown Vindicator)

ALSO: Minnesota-based 3M will offer discounts on solar panels as an employee benefit. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

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EFFICIENCY: European passive house standards get a makeover for Midwest climates, and the Department of Energy will pursue new efficiency standards for water heaters and some fluorescent lights. (Midwest Energy News, The Hill)

COAL: Citizen groups in Illinois seek a federal takeover of the state’s mining regulator, and an Illinois county delays a vote on a proposed coal waste storage facility. (SNL, Springfield State Journal-Register)

CARS: Hybrid owners love their cars but still face a stigma on the road; Michigan’s governor signs a bill, supported by GM, that blocks Tesla’s sales model in the state; and Ford drops the price of its electric Focus. (Chicago Tribune, CBS Detroit, MLive, Autoblog)

OIL AND GAS: High pollution levels are found near Ohio drilling sites, a Canadian company considers a new refinery in North Dakota, and an industry gathering gives Ohio officials a look at other shale plays around the country. (Associated Press, Columbus Business First)

POLITICS: Environment and energy issues are playing a major role in midterm campaigns. (New York Times)

WASTE-TO-ENERGY: The Wisconsin Supreme Court will hear a dispute over a proposed waste-to-energy plant near Green Bay. (Green Bay Press-Gazette)

NUCLEAR: Allison Macfarlane, chair of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, is stepping down at the end of the year. (Washington Post)

GRID: Rural co-ops say bigger farm machinery is leading to more accidents with power lines. (Minnesota Public Radio)

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TRANSMISSION: A Clean Line Energy Partners executive says she’s “a supporter” of distributed generation, but that it won’t negate the need for utility-scale wind and transmission. (Recharge News)

COMMENTARY: “…one rather despairs in turning to utilities for innovation. But nothing focuses the mind like the threat of bankruptcy.” (Grist)

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