Daily digest

Fracking: You didn’t build that

FRACKING: University of Minnesota researchers develop a technique to clean up fracking wastewater with bacteria trapped inside a silica gel. (Midwest Energy News)

ALSO: Industry pioneers who developed modern fracking techniques say it was the result of decades of federal investment, and that the same resource commitment should be made for renewable energy; and three people are arrested at an anti-fracking protest in Michigan. (Associated Press, Grand Rapids Press)

EFFICIENCY: A New York Times investigation finds data centers that power the Internet use — and waste — a tremendous amount of energy by running at full power, 24 hours a day.

ON THE OTHER HAND: A critic writing for Forbes calls the Times article “a sloppy failure” for conflating high-profile internet brands with the IT companies that actually supply the numbers the story is based on.

NUCLEAR: MidAmerican confirms it is considering Iowa locations near the Quad-Cities and in the far southwestern corner of the state for a new nuclear plant. (Des Moines Register)

WISCONSIN: Rising electricity rates revive the debate over deregulating the state’s energy markets. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

WIND: Local officials praise the completion of the Lake Winds project in Michigan, and the developer of the Goodhue Wind farm in Minnesota cuts ties with a Minneapolis firm. (Muskegon Chronicle, Finance & Commerce)

POLITICS: Despite decrying “acid rain and air pollution from the Midwest” as governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney embraces Ohio’s coal industry; and the House approves the “Stop the War on Coal Act” as its last official act before the election. (Columbus Dispatch, The Hill)

ETHANOL: Many biofuel plants can no longer make money selling ethanol, and are supporting their operations through the sale of distillers’ grains and other byproducts. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

OIL AND GAS: After a nine-year battle, an energy company withdraws its request to drill for gas along a scenic Michigan river, construction begins on the Keystone XL pipeline, and the University of North Dakota studies the impact of “man camps.” (Traverse City Record-Eagle, Washington Post, Associated Press)

TRANSPORTATION: Making a significant leap in fuel efficiency requires automakers to roll the dice on technology. (ClimateWire)

COMMENTARY: Frac sand trucks disrupt an Iowa tourist town, praise for Cleveland’s bike infrastructure, a call for Iowa to look beyond natural gas for its energy future, and an assessment of climate science distortion on Fox News and the Wall Street Journal opinion page. (Minneapolis Star Tribune, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Des Moines Register, Scientific American)

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