NUCLEAR: With an infusion of federal funding, Midwest utilities are showing an interest in small modular reactors, but critics say the technology just presents the same drawbacks in a smaller package. (Midwest Energy News)
ALSO: Nebraska’s Fort Calhoun is expected to restart at the end of May, after being idled for nearly two years because of flooding and safety issues. (Lincoln Journal Star)
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CARBON CAPTURE: The Office of Inspector General says the Department of Energy has mismanaged millions of dollars in funding from a stimulus-backed carbon capture program. (The Hill)
A TALE OF TWO REGULATORS: The McClatchy news service contrasts FERC’s aggressive policing of market manipulation in the electricity sector with the Federal Trade Commission’s lighter-handed approach with the oil and gas industries.
EFFICIENCY: South Dakota regulators cool to utility efficiency programs, on the grounds that “ratepayers all have to pay and they don’t all benefit.” (Mitchell Daily Republic)
WIND: Wind accounted for 70 percent of new electricity generation in Great Lakes states last year, and officials in an Ohio town are frustrated by two underperforming small wind turbines the city installed in 2011. (Great Lakes Echo, Youngstown Vindicator)
OIL: Renewed cleanup efforts of the 2010 oil spill in Michigan’s Kalamazoo River are prompted by EPA surveys showing that submerged oil is spreading. (InsideClimate News)
FRACKING: Missouri’s sand industry eagerly awaits the outcome of Illinois fracking legislation. (Associated Press)
NATURAL GAS: Consumer groups in Illinois oppose a bill that would exempt natural gas utilities from the state’s rate-regulation system. (Springfield State Journal-Register)
COAL: A study by health and environmental groups says coal-burning power plants in Alberta are to blame for $300 million in health costs and 100 premature deaths each year. (CBC News)
TRANSPORTATION: A partnership between Cummins and Peterbilt Motors develops a long-haul truck that gets 54 percent better fuel economy than existing trucks, and AAA names the Chevy Volt one of its top commuter cars. (Gas 2.0, PlugInCars)
COMMENTARY: The importance of a recent New York Times piece that “bucks the defeatist conventional wisdom” on renewable energy. (Grist)
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