Daily digest

House puts rural energy on the chopping block

FARM BILL: The House version of the Farm Bill would eliminate five rural energy programs and cut others. (The Hill)

EFFICIENCY: Thanks to a federal pilot program, an Appalachian nonprofit is on the process of providing energy retrofits for every home in an old Ohio coal town. (ClimateWire)

COAL: A coalition of business and environmental groups call on Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn to veto a bill supporting a proposed coal-to-gas plant in Chicago. (Springfield State Journal-Register)

ETHANOL: U.S. Ethanol production drops to the lowest level in 10 months, as the crippling Midwest heat wave has some farmers abandoning crops altogether, threatening to send corn prices higher. (Reuters, New York Times)

SPEAKING OF THE HEAT WAVE: Iowa’s MidAmerican Energy says electricity demand is close to record levels, but the utility still has plenty of reserve power. (Des Moines Register)

TRANSPORTATION: A growing number of studies show that Americans are driving less. (ClimateWire)

‘MAKING IT HERE’: A conference in Cleveland will provide information for manufacturers seeking to tap into the energy technology supply chain. (Akron Beacon Journal)

PULLING STRINGS?: FERC is investigating whether the financial firm JPMorgan manipulated electricity markets in the Midwest and California. (Reuters)

FRACKING: The shale gas boom is chewing up supplies of guar gum, a key ingredient in fracking fluid that is also used in ice cream and other products. (Houston Chronicle)

COMMENTARY: The Detroit Free Press says federal regulators need to account for the possible impacts of diluted bitument, or DilBit, from the oil sands on pipelines; Yoram Bauman and Shi-Ling Hsu call a carbon tax “the most sensible tax of all”; and Michael Levi explains what the Higgs-Boson discovery tells us about climate skeptics. (Detroit Free Press, New York Times, Council on Foreign Relations)

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