EFFICIENCY: A pair of Iowa studies finds small towns can save millions on energy costs through aggressive efficiency efforts and renewable energy. (Midwest Energy News)

FRACKING: A GAO report singles out Ohio for being the only state that doesn’t require disclosure of chemicals disposed in wastewater injection wells. (EcoWatch)

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FRAC SAND: A new report, focusing primarily on Wisconsin and Minnesota, finds frac sand mining poses health and economic risks to nearby communities. (International Business Times)

UTILITIES: Wisconsin industrial groups want regulators to take more time deciding whether to approve Wisconsin Energy’s proposed acquisition of Integrys, and developers of a proposed natural gas plant withdraw their proposal after controversy in an Illinois town. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, CBS Chicago)

• A group of solar installers requests a ruling from the IRS on tax implications for value-of-solar tariffs. (Greentech Media)
• A Wisconsin town, motivated in part by opposition to transmission lines, explores a community solar program. (La Crosse Tribune)
• Officials at a Lincoln, Nebraska utility say they’re surprised by the low rate of participation in their community solar effort. (Lincoln Journal Star)
• A new maintenance facility at Madison’s airport includes a 100 kW solar array. (Wisconsin State Journal)

COAL: An industry expert says market conditions, not environmental regulations, are having the hardest impact on the coal industry. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

NUCLEAR: Exelon says the EPA’s “at risk” designation for nuclear plants doesn’t help it financially. (EnergyWire)

OIL: An industry group releases new classification standards for shipping crude by rail, a North Dakota lawmaker says Gen. David Petraeus compared the Oil Patch to a war zone, and a union official criticizes delays to a proposed Minnesota pipeline. (Associated Press, Forum News Service)

GRID: PJM Interconnection says it’s modifying a grid reliability plan after comments from utilities and other groups. (Columbus Business First)

ETHANOL: An ethanol plant co-located with the Spiritwood coal plant in North Dakota will receive a $1 million federal loan. (Forum News Service)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join top executives from the area’s RTOs, utilities, transmission developers, and state regulatory agencies at EUCI’s Transmission Expansion in the Midwest, Nov. 4-5 in Indianapolis.***

COMMENTARY: Ohio’s energy laws are “being rolled back by a cabal of special interests and lawmakers who appear motivated more by ideology than common sense.” (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

CORRECTION: An item in yesterday’s digest misidentified the gender of Wisconsin Rep. Chris Taylor. We apologize for the error.

Ken is the director of the Energy News Network at Fresh Energy and is a founding editor of both Midwest Energy News and Southeast Energy News. Prior to joining Fresh Energy, he was the managing editor for online news at Minnesota Public Radio. He started his journalism career in 2002 as a copy editor for the Duluth News Tribune before spending five years at the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, where he worked as a copy editor, online producer, features editor and night city editor. A Nebraska native, Ken has a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master's degree from the University of Oregon. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors.

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