Daily digest

Indiana bill would let big companies opt out of efficiency

UTILITIES: A new agreement between a major environmental group and an organization representing investor-owned utilities seeks a “path to success” on the contentious topic of distributed generation. (Midwest Energy News)

EFFICIENCY: Indiana lawmakers advance a bill that would let big companies opt out of energy efficiency programs. (Indianapolis Star)

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OIL: Minnesota lawmakers seek tougher rules for oil trains, a December derailment in North Dakota spilled more oil than previously estimated, and two oil spills are reported in western North Dakota. (Minneapolis Star Tribune, McClatchy, Associated Press)

EDITOR’S NOTE: A link to a related Star Tribune story about oil train safety was accidentally omitted from yesterday’s digest. The story can be found here.

COAL: A Michigan power plant improves its efficiency by capturing heat from a tire recycler, and the coal industry uses winter shortages as an opportunity to take a swipe at natural gas. (Hillsdale Daily News, National Journal)

PETCOKE: An Illinois business group reacts to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan to prohibit new petcoke facilities in the city, calling it “a solution in search of a problem.” (Chicago Sun-Times)

FRACKING: A Michigan group postpones its effort for a ballot initiative to ban fracking until 2016. (Great Lakes Echo)

NUCLEAR: Scientists have achieved a milestone in the long-elusive pursuit of nuclear fusion. (Christian Science Monitor)

PROPANE: Pipeline shipments of propane to the Midwest have increased as federal regulators use emergency powers to shore up supplies. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

AGRICULTURE: Farmers at a Michigan conference say energy is their top concern. (Detroit Free Press)

BIOFUELS: An Iowa-based renewable fuel company has launched a division that well sell petroleum-based heating oil and diesel. (Des Moines Register)

TRANSMISSION: A Sioux City factory has been selected to provide towers for the Rock Island Clean Line. (Sioux City Journal)

COMMENTARY: Why regulators should ignore some utilities’ attacks on solar power. (NRDC Switchboard)

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