Daily digest

Minnesota wind farm site abandoned, Iowa sets record

WIND: South Dakota lawmakers advance legislation aimed at easing the state’s tax burden on wind farms, which can impose costs ten times higher than other states. (Midwest Energy News)

ALSO: A developer gives up on a Minnesota wind project that would have been the state’s largest, Nebraska’s governor criticizes state legislators for advancing what he calls “out-of-state special interest tax breaks” for wind development, and Iowa sets a new record with nearly 25 percent of its electricity generated from wind in 2012. (Rochester Post-Bulletin, Omaha World-Herald, Des Moines Business Record)

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CLIMATE: New research finds temperatures today are warmer than they were for most of the past 11,000 years, and the rate of change is increasing; an analysis finds U.S. insurers are generally unprepared for climate change; North Dakota lawmakers consider studying how climate change will impact the state; and James Hansen issues a call to action on climate at the Sustainability Summit in Milwaukee. (Bloomberg, ClimateWire, Bismarck Tribune, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

EFFICIENCY: Walgreens plans to build a net-zero store in Evanston, Illinois, which the company believes would be the first retail store in the country to produce more energy than it consumes. (Reuters)

OHIO: A state senator announces at a meeting of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association that a bill will be introduced next week to “evaluate” the state’s renewable energy standard. (Zanesville Times Recorder)

COAL: Wisconsin Energy says it will increase its coal use this year; and coal company bankruptcies jeopardize the pensions and health benefits of thousands of retired miners, many of whom suffer from severe health problems. (Milwaukee Business Journal, Washington Post)

OIL: Hyperion Resources has until next week to being construction on its proposed South Dakota refinery, a drilling company hopes to revive an oil field in northern Indiana, and an Ohio refinery opens a $400 million expansion. (Sioux Falls Argus-Leader, Logansport Pharos-Tribune, Toledo Blade)

NATURAL GAS: An Ohio school plans to convert its heating system to natural gas amid a legal dispute over a faulty wind turbine. (Ashtabula Star Beacon)

COMMENTARY: How the “sequestration” budget cuts will impact the environment. (The Energy Collective)

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