Daily digest

Minnesota wind farm allowed to pursue eagle ‘take’ permit

INDIANA: Environmentalists say the use of “trackers” — line items that allow utilities to pass along costs to customers without making a rate case — are a bad deal for ratepayers and put renewable energy at a disadvantage. (Midwest Energy News)

WIND: A controversial wind project in Goodhue County, Minnesota will be allowed to pursue a federal “incidental take” permit, allowing the facility to kill bald eagles without facing prosecution. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

POLLUTION: The EPA finalizes rules to reduce pollution from taconite plants in northern Minnesota. (Duluth News Tribune)

EFFICIENCY: The Department of Energy withdraws rules that would have required high-efficiency furnaces in many states, after a lawsuit by a natural gas industry group. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

TRANSPORTATION: Michigan’s governor calls for higher gasoline taxes to fix the state’s roads; and more cities install protected bike lanes, taking advantage of both economic and environmental benefits. (Detroit Free Press, USA Today)

ALSO: Johnson Controls introduces “micro-hybrid” vehicle technology that can significantly improve fuel economy while only adding $1,200-$1,400 to the price of a car. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

SOLAR: The University of Michigan plans a second 2.4 acre solar array. (AnnArbor.com)

OIL: Marathon Petroleum agrees to clean up oil byproducts underneath a long-closed Michigan refinery. (MLive.com)

POLITICS: A group of House Republicans, and one Democrat, introduce a resolution to oppose any attempt at a carbon tax. (The Hill)

OHIO: A school district considers removing its wind turbine after a series of mechanical problems. (Ashtabula Star Beacon)

SECURITY: The Department of Homeland Security reports that two unnamed power plants had their control systems breached by malware within the past three months. (ThreatPost)

TRANSMISSION: Advocates, regulators and utilities highlight the need to upgrade Minnesota’s grid. (Finance & Commerce)

BIOMASS: The University of Iowa is cutting down thousands of dying, non-native trees for use as biomass in the campus power plant. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

COMMENTARY: Why cap-and-trade deserves another look in the Midwest, and why utilities are attacking net-metering rules. (Crain’s Chicago Business, Greentech Media)

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