Daily digest

EPA says coal ash is not ‘hazardous’

COAL ASH: EPA takes historic step to regulate coal ash, but, against environment groups’ wishes, doesn’t call it “hazardous” waste. Ohio-based utility FirstEnergy calls the rules “appropriate.” (New York Times, The Hill, Cleveland Plain Dealer)

SOLAR: Xcel Energy sees bigger response to community solar in Minnesota than anticipated: 427 applications so far. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

***SPONSORED LINK: The Midwest Energy Solutions Conference is the largest event of its kind in the region. This event attracts a diverse assemblage of thought leaders from around the nation who share a passion for energy efficiency.***

PIPELINE: Nebraska Supreme Court delays pivotal decision on Keystone XL until 2015, while Obama pushes back against claims that the project would lower gas prices. (The Hill)

FRACKING: After 9 days, Ohio families evacuated due to a gas leak at a fracking well are still seeking answers. Meanwhile, in a speech, Gov. John Kasich says more fracking regulations are coming, hints at industry tax increase. (Columbus Dispatch)

ALSO: New York farmers are upset over missing out on gas royalties after statewide fracking ban. (Associated Press)

MINING: Federal mining regulators seeing a “cultural change” in industry as mining-related deaths near record low. Also, Obama appointee overseeing surface mining proving environmental groups wrong with aggressive rulemaking. (Associated Press, Greenwire)

RELIABILITY: PJM Interconnection delays plant retirements in preparation for winter weather and uncertainty in demand response. (Columbus Business First)

CARBON: In Wisconsin, state regulators and clean energy advocates take different approach to proposed federal carbon regulations. (La Crosse Tribune)

SPORTS: The National Hockey League becomes first major sports league to commit to major greenhouse gas reductions, while the Minnesota Vikings install $1.2 million worth of LED lighting at new stadium. (ClimateWire, Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal)

CLIMATE CHANGE: Michigan National Guard base installs renewable energy, pilots climate-change resiliency measures. (Midwest Energy News)

ALSO: New federal guidance on how climate change should factor into environmental reviews could affect FERC permitting process. (Greenwire)

UTILITIES: Utilities in Michigan and South Dakota seek rate increases to pay off investments and pollution controls. (CBS Detroit, Associated Press)

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ETHANOL: Industry group calls University of Minnesota biofuels study “misleading, inaccurate.”. (Biofuels Digest)

COMMENTARY: In next legislative session, Michigan lawmakers should avoid shielding wind projects from lawsuits. (Detroit News)

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