Daily digest

‘It’s global warming, stupid’

CLIMATE: In a surprise endorsement of President Obama, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg calls on “all elected leaders to take immediate action” on climate change; and a Bloomberg Businessweek cover story this week on Hurricane Sandy declares “It’s global warming, stupid.” (New York Times, Bloomberg Businessweek)

ALSO: A protester with a sign reading “End climate silence” disrupts a Mitt Romney rally in Virginia, and is ejected as a crowd chants “U-S-A! U-S-A!” (The Hill)

COAL:
>> Financial troubles deepen for Midwest Generation, casting doubt on the future of four Illinois coal plants. (Midwest Energy News)
>> Minnesota regulators give Xcel Energy a July deadline to study the impact of potentially closing its largest coal plant. (Midwest Energy News)
>> Patriot Coal announces it’s shutting down a southern Illinois mine. (Mining Weekly)
>> The Spiritwood coal plant in North Dakota, idled immediately after its construction in 2011 due to lack of demand, is expected to begin operating in 2015 to provide steam for nearby industries. (Jamestown Sun)

AFTER THE ELECTION: If President Obama is re-elected, energy experts expect Energy Secretary Steven Chu to depart, but are uncertain on whether EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson will stay. (Greenwire)

ETHANOL: The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association lobbies the White House to allow higher ethanol blends to help alleviate gasoline shortages on the East Coast. (Des Moines Register)

WIND: A fossil-fuel-backed group releases a study that says tax credits for wind amount to “rent seeking” by an established industry. (The Hill)

NATURAL GAS: A Minnesota city gets a $3.3 million federal grant to build a compressed natural gas facility to fuel its buses, and Wisconsin Energy considers $200 million in upgrades to its natural gas network to meet demands of frac sand mines. (St. Cloud Times, Milwaukee Business Journal)

SOLAR: A Minnesota firm is selected to build a 3 MW solar project near Boston. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

COMMENTARY: Wen Stephenson says “journalism as usual” is failing us on climate change, and David Roberts says rising production costs make the coal industry “a paper tiger, far more vulnerable than virtually anyone in U.S. politics understands.” (The Phoenix, Grist)

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