Daily digest

Minnesota regulators approve oil sands pipeline expansion

NOTE TO READERS: Midwest Energy News will be taking a break for Labor Day. The email digest will return on Tuesday, September 2.

PIPELINES: Minnesota regulators approve an oil sands pipeline expansion, and Enbridge could face a fine of up to $86 million for the 2010 Kalamazoo River oil spill. (Minneapolis Star Tribune, InsideClimate News)

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COAL: A study finds existing coal plants will emit more than 300 billion tons of CO2 in their lifespans. (Climate Central)

ALSO: Duke Energy plans to close an Ohio coal plant early, utilities turn to trucks and barges to ship coal amid congested railways, and producers of a new reality TV show are looking for unemployed coal miners. (Charlotte Business Journal, Reuters, Columbus Business First)

SOLAR: In Minnesota and elsewhere, churches turn to solar power and other measures to draw attention to climate change. (Midwest Energy News)

SMART GRID: American Electric Power seeks permission to charge Ohio ratepayers $31.80 per month if they refuse to install a smart meter. (Columbus Dispatch)

POLLUTION: Saltwater spills related to drilling operations are sterilizing farmland in North Dakota. (Inside Energy)

POLITICS: Upset over delayed fracking regulations, oil industry donors are backing Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn’s Republican challenger. (Carbondale Southern Illinoisan)

NATURAL GAS: A North Dakota utility seeks a site for a new 600 MW natural gas power plant. (Bismarck Tribune)

GREEN ECONOMY: A new survey ranks Michigan third in the nation for clean-energy jobs. (Crain’s Detroit Business)

EFFICIENCY: The marquee at a landmark Ann Arbor theater is converted to LEDs. (MLive)

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UTILITIES: A new online tool will help Chicago utility customers find the best deal for electricity. (Chicago Tribune)

COMMENTARY: Why China is not an excuse for U.S. inaction on climate change. (Washington Post)

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