Daily digest

Obama eyes carbon emissions from existing power plants

CLIMATE: President Obama is expected to discuss plans to curb carbon emissions from existing power plants during the State of the Union address next week. (Wall Street Journal)

ALSO: Greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. power plants fell 4.6 percent in 2011, but still account for roughly 2/3 of emissions from stationary sources, according to a new EPA report. (Associated Press)

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TECHNOLOGY: Heidi Lubin, an avid outdoorswoman with experience resolving conflicts in Africa and closer to home, now leads a Chicago start-up that promises a better electric motor without relying on rare earth materials. (Midwest Energy News)

FRAC SAND: The mayor of a Minnesota town near the heart of the frac sand boom takes a second job lobbying for the industry, as state lawmakers consider a moratorium while they further study the mining boom’s potential impact. (Minneapolis Star Tribune, Politics in Minnesota)

OIL: North Dakota oil makes its way to the East Coast, as school groups and others warn a proposed tax restructuring in the state could hurt future revenue; and FirstEnergy will pay more than $200,000 in a settlement over a small oil spill that took place six years ago. (Bloomberg Businessweek, Associated Press, Toledo Blade)

FRACKING: Documents show a drilling company CEO ordered 20,000 gallons of wastewater to be dumped into a storm drain in Youngstown, Ohio; and a review finds state oversight of drilling has improved, but inspectors are still stretched thin. (Youngstown Vindicator, ProPublica)

PIPELINES: A GAO report finds federal regulators lack clear guidelines for how companies should respond to pipeline accidents. (InsideClimate News)

TRANSPORTATION: The Defense Department plans to spend $20 million studying vehicle-to-grid technology. (Greenwire)

NUCLEAR: DTE Energy will have to accommodate an endangered snake as it expands a Michigan nuclear plant; and against long odds, a Minnesota tech company pursues cold fusion. (Detroit Free Press, Minnesota Public Radio)

ETHANOL: A coalition of environmental and fiscal groups continue to push the EPA to lower its ethanol mandate. (Lincoln Journal Star)

EFFICIENCY: Ypsilanti, Michigan hopes to convert its streetlights to LEDs. (AnnArbor.com)

COMMENTARY: Is nuclear power doomed to dwindle? (Scientific American)

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