Daily digest

Moniz confirmed, McCarthy advances on party-line vote

CLIMATE: As utilities take steps to cut greenhouse gas emissions, scientists warn we may not be moving quickly enough. (Midwest Energy News)

MEANWHILE: During floor debate on an energy bill, a Minnesota state legislator calls climate change “a complete United Nations fraud.” (City Pages)

POLITICS: The Senate unanimously confirms Ernest Moniz to lead the Department of Energy, EPA nominee Gina McCarthy advances on a party-line vote, and conservatives say the EPA treated them unfairly in denying records requests. (The Hill, Greenwire)

FRACKING: The Obama administration releases new proposed regulations for fracking on public lands, and neither the industry nor environmentalists are happy. (National Journal)

ALSO: Oil and gas production in Ohio grows slowly, as the industry says a lack pipeline and processing infrastructure continues to hold back production. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

NATURAL GAS: Integrys Energy anticipates stable natural gas supplies for at least the next decade, and Xcel Energy plans two new natural gas power plants in North Dakota. (Green Bay Press-Gazette, Fargo Forum)

ETHANOL: A bill in Congress would allow ethanol derived from natural gas to count toward renewable fuel mandates. (Houston Chronicle)

ELECTRIC CARS: Tesla Motors plans to use proceeds from a public offering to pay off its Energy Department loan nine years ahead of schedule. (Bloomberg)

WIND: Iowa State University researchers say concrete wind turbine towers could be taller and longer-lasting than current ones made from steel. (Radio Iowa)

SOLAR: The municipal utility in Traverse City, Michigan signs on to a community solar project. (Traverse City Record-Eagle)

COAL: Wisconsin regulators sign off on an ownership transfer that will allow upgrades to an Upper Peninsula coal plant to proceed. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

SMART METERS: Michigan smart meter opponents plan to appeal a ruling allowing DTE Energy to charge an opt-out fee to those who don’t want the meters installed. (Dearborn Press & Guide)

COMMENTARY: The South Bend Tribune says a Michigan nuclear plant is running out of second chances, and Tesla haters do a 180. (South Bend Tribune, GigaOm)

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