Daily digest

Minnesota mercury emissions drop by more than half

COAL: Minnesota regulators say the state’s coal-fired power plants have cut their mercury emissions by more than half over the past 15 years. (Duluth News Tribune)

TRANSMISSION: An Iowa utility says it’s being unfairly burdened with costs for transmission upgrades that primarily move wind energy out of state. (Midwest Energy News)

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OIL: A new study finds the energy return on oil sands mining is significantly lower than for conventional oil. (InsideClimate News)

FRAC SAND: Minnesota legislators are divided over how to approach frac sand mining, as concerns about the industry turn neighboring landowners into activists. (Minnesota Public Radio, Minneapolis Star Tribune)

SECURITY: A new report says a Chinese organization, blamed for hacking multiple American corporations, plans to target the U.S. power grid and pipeline network. (New York Times)

SOLAR: A Department of Energy report rates solar panels produced by a Minnesota company — which has run them over with a truck to test their durability — as among the most reliable and longest-lasting available in the U.S. (Duluth News Tribune)

WIND: Efforts to expand tax benefits for wind farms stumble in the Nebraska legislature. (Omaha World-Herald)

CLIMATE: An environmental group petitions the EPA to use a provision of the Clean Air Act to restrict greenhouse gases. (The Hill)

TRANSPORTATION: Duke Energy sues Cincinnati, saying it can’t be forced to pay for relocating power lines for a streetcar project. (Associated Press)

WASTE-TO-ENERGY: A Wisconsin company has found a location for a proposed plant that would generate electricity from wastewater. (McClatchy)

COMMENTARY: How grassroots activism can tip the scales on federal climate change policy. (CNN)

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