Daily digest

Study finds Midwest high-speed rail costly, but feasible

WIND: A review of Michigan wind contracts by Midwest Energy News finds most were awarded without competitive bids, and legal experts say a lack of transparency makes it difficult to know whether consumers are getting the best deal.

ALSO: Republican lawmakers question the need to extend the wind production tax credit, and energy from a MidAmerican wind farm will offset carbon emissions from an Iowa State University football game this weekend. (The Hill, Des Moines Register)

HIGH-SPEED RAIL: An Illinois feasibility study finds that a high-speed rail network connecting Chicago to St. Louis, Indianapolis and other cities would be expensive to build but could operate without subsidies. (Crain’s Chicago Business)

SOLAR: A utility-backed study on the “value of the grid” to solar customers aims to turn the tables on the net-metering debate, and a national solar tour will make a stop in Ypsilanti, Michigan this weekend. (Greentech Media, MLive)

CLIMATE: The U.S. Supreme Court takes no action on a key climate case, making it likely it will formally decline to hear the case next week. (Reuters)

POLITICS: Sen. Lisa Murkowski says “everybody needs to be embarrassed” after a bipartisan energy efficiency bill is bogged down by unrelated amendments. (Politico)

BIOFUELS: A second Minnesota ethanol plant may switch production to isobutanol. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

OIL: Oil prices rise on news that the first segment of the Keystone XL pipeline is nearing completion. (Associated Press)

ELECTRIC CARS: Tesla shares dip following a widely publicized video of a Model S catching fire after running over a large chunk of metal, EV charger sales are expected to top 4.3 million by 2022, and a study finds consumers are more likely to buy an electric car once they’ve driven one. (Reuters, BusinessGreen)

TRANSMISSION: An Iowa county changes its position on a major transmission project from supportive to neutral, and a 40 MW storage facility goes online in Ohio. (Spencer Daily Reporter, Renew Grid)

ENERGY LOANS: A profile of Peter Davidson, who is charged with reviving the Department of Energy’s politically embattled loan program. (InsideClimate News)


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