Daily digest

Utilities respond to ‘existential threat’ from solar

SOLAR: Seeing an “existential threat” to their bottom line, utilities organize to roll back incentives for distributed solar power. (New York Times)

POLLUTION: A shift from coal to natural gas is reducing smog in central Ohio; and a new study finds increased cancer risk from benzene, a chemical found in crude oil and gasoline. (Columbus Dispatch)

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TRANSMISSION: An interstate transmission compact being considered by Kansas legislators could help bring more wind and solar power to market. (Stateline)

EFFICIENCY: While fighting Ohio efficiency rules, FirstEnergy continues to distribute CFL bulbs to customers, in what advocates call “an antique approach” to conserving energy. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

OIL: The Obama administration delays new safety regulations for trains carrying crude oil, Exxon reverses a decision to end temporary housing payments for residents affected by an Arkansas oil spill, and Enbridge will pay $425,000 to settle charges it made illegal discharges while testing a Minnesota pipeline. (Associated Press, InsideClimate News, Minneapolis Star Tribune)

• Hundreds are expected at an anti-fracking rally in Youngstown, Ohio today. (Youngstown Vindicator)
• Experts say the anti-fracking movement is driven in part by perceived arrogance and lack of transparency by the drilling industry. (Associated Press)
• The allure of drilling royalties creates a dilemma in Ohio’s Amish country. (Associated Press)
• Fracking in Illinois is still months away as the state slowly implements new drilling regulations. (Springfield State Journal-Register)
• A new drilling fight emerges in the northern part of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. (Detroit News)

BAKKEN: A company in North Dakota deploys new “grid shack” technology to reduce natural gas flaring in the oil fields. (Forum News Service)

WIND: For the third time, a court rejects a challenge to an Illinois county’s wind ordinance. (Chicago Tribune)

KEYSTONE XL: President Obama wades into the Keystone XL pipeline debate, questioning industry job claims and noting the project could lead to higher gasoline prices in some areas. (The Hill)

AGRICULTURE: While Wisconsin seeks to prohibit stray voltage lawsuits against utilities, at least six such cases are currently underway in Minnesota. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

TRANSPORTATION: UPS says it can cut fuel costs for long-haul trucks by 40 percent by switching to natural gas, and Michigan researchers work to improve electric vehicle batteries. (Bloomberg, CBS Detroit)

COMMENTARY: The five most important names in renewable energy that you’ve never heard of, and how fracking benefits Wisconsin companies other than sand miners. (Grist, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

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