Daily digest

Urgent climate warnings falling on deaf ears in Congress

CLIMATE: Climate urgency runs into political inertia in Washington, D.C. (New York Times)

UTILITIES: How advanced thermostats and other energy-monitoring devices pose another challenge to utilities’ business models. (EnergyWire)

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WIND: Momentum builds to revive the production tax credit, global wind capacity is expected to double over the next five years, and construction of a new wind farm is expected to provide a financial boost for rural South Dakota communities. (Environment News Service, CleanTechnica, Forum News Service)

OIL: Crews are still working to clean up a March oil spill at an Ohio nature preserve, and Minnesota Sen. Al Franken says he will push for federal action on oil train safety. (Associated Press, Minnesota Public Radio)

BIOFUELS: The advanced biofuel industry is at a technological — and policy — turning point. (New York Times)

POLITICS: Clean-energy advocates fear fracking and natural gas will dominate election year conversations. (National Journal)

EFFICIENCY: Federal energy efficiency legislation, backed by Dow Chemical and other major companies, is expected to return to the Senate floor in May. (Bloomberg BNA)

COAL: Developers of the FutureGen project sign construction deals with unions, and students protest a St. Louis university’s ties with Peabody Coal. (Associated Press, St. Louis Business Journal)

NATURAL GAS: Alliant Energy gets final approval for a new power plant in Iowa. (Marshalltown Times-Republican)

SOLAR: A bill in Oklahoma would allow utilities to charge an extra fee to customers who generate their own power, and researchers develop solar panels that work well on cloudy days. (Tulsa World, The Atlantic)

OHIO: Former PUCO commissioner Todd Snitchler joins a law firm as an energy advisor. (Columbus Dispatch)

COMMENTARY: Why tar sands expansions pose a growing threat to the Great Lakes. (Midwest Energy News)

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