Daily digest

Study questions climate benefit of biofuels from cornfield waste

ETHANOL: A new study finds biofuels made from cornfield waste have a worse impact on climate than gasoline. (Associated Press)

COAL: Siding with North Dakota, a federal judge strikes down part of a Minnesota law requiring carbon offsets for imported coal power. Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton says the state will appeal the ruling. (Minneapolis Star Tribune, Minnesota Public Radio)

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NATURAL GAS: Ohio utilities are replacing thousands of miles of natural gas pipelines, some of which are more than 100 years old. (Midwest Energy News)

SOLAR: The solar industry “has now grown big enough to have enemies,” a recent landmark solar decision boosts the fortunes of a Minnesota renewable energy company, and an 8MW solar array atop a Superfund site — the largest of its kind in the U.S. — goes online in Indiana. (McClatchy, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Evansville Courier & Press)

KEYSTONE XL: The Obama administration delays a decision on Keystone XL until a court challenge in Nebraska is resolved. (Greenwire)

OHIO: The mayor of Columbus, Ohio says a bill to freeze the state’s renewable energy law “is harmful to consumers,” and an Ohio town will see its electricity rates increase 25 percent from a deal with the Prairie State coal plant. (Columbus Dispatch, Toledo Blade)

WIND: Alliant Energy’s CEO says wind energy is becoming cost-competitive without tax credits, and imported wind energy from Iowa is expected to lower utility rates in Chicago. (Forbes, Chicago Sun-Times)

FRACKING: Ohio regulators’ acknowledgment of a “probably” link between fracking and earthquakes could increase insurance costs for homeowners. (Columbus Business First)

FRAC SAND: More than 5,000 Minnesotans have signed a petition calling for a two-year moratorium on frac sand mining, and a former EPA official says Wisconsin needs to be responsive to complaints about mining operations. (Minneapolis Star Tribune, Wisconsin State Journal)

OIL: A refinery near Chicago was evacuated for several hours last week after an equipment malfunction. (Times of Northwest Indiana)

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EFFICIENCY: Researchers explore a correlation between “green” school buildings and better academic performance. (Columbus Dispatch)

COMMENTARY: Why Wisconsin needs to “make comprehensive energy reform a top priority.” (Wisconsin State Journal)

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