Daily digest

Minnesota lawmakers get an earful on frac sand mining

FRAC SAND: At a packed Minnesota Legislature hearing, residents and local officials call for a moratorium on frac sand mining; and a company pursuing a frac sand mine on a protected waterway in Wisconsin refuses to withdraw its application. (Minneapolis Star Tribune, Madison Capital Times)

NUCLEAR: Wisconsin’s Kewaunee nuclear plant will shut down sometime in the next few months, after a review finds the closure won’t harm grid reliability. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

***SPONSORED LINK: Early-bird tickets now available for the 2013 Clean Energy Challenge April 4 in Chicago.  Keynote speakers include DOE Assistant Secretary Danielson, clean tech investor Ira Ehrenpreis.***

COAL: Recent studies find coal dust may be more harmful than previously thought. (Midwest Energy News)

KEYSTONE XL: In a shift in strategy, TransCanada officials say the Keystone XL pipeline will have no measurable impact on climate change. (Associated Press)

CLIMATE: Climate activist Bill McKibben does a Q&A with the Minneapolis Star Tribune ahead of two appearances in St. Paul this week.

ILLINOIS: A consumer group’s survey finds significant savings for communities that switched to municipal aggregation, and a longtime energy efficiency advocate is named director of the Illinois Power Agency. (Decatur Herald-Review, Crain’s Chicago Business)

MICHIGAN: A battery plant that was ordered to refund a portion of its federal stimulus grant has not applied for the $125 million in state tax credits it was awarded, and a report from utility regulators finds the state’s renewable energy standard has led to nearly $1.8 billion in development through 2012. (MLive.com, FierceEnergy)

ETHANOL: U.S. producers object to European ethanol tariffs that amount to about 25 cents per gallon (Bloomberg/Minneapolis Star Tribune)

WIND: South Dakota’s Senate approves new financial incentives for wind farms. (Associated Press)

COMMENTARY: David Roberts defends activists’ “unreasonable” demands to block the Keystone XL pipeline, and how the 2012 election changed the political calculus for climate change action. (Grist, Quartz)

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