Daily digest

Michigan utility plans $2 billion worth of coal plant upgrades

EPA: Michigan utility Consumers Energy will spend $2 billion upgrading coal plants in a settlement over Clean Air Act violations. (Detroit Free Press)

ALSO: The EPA extends the comment period on proposed carbon rules, and an American Electric Power official says the Clean Power Plan is “just not going to happen.” (Associated Press, Columbus Business First)

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POLLUTION: The National Nurses United union is becoming increasingly involved in fights over pollution, which members say they can directly see impacting their patients. (Midwest Energy News)

COAL: A federal study finds black lung disease is making a comeback in mining country. (Wall Street Journal)

OHIO: The Ohio Senate names five more members of the committee to study the state’s clean-energy laws. (Columbus Business First)

UTILITIES: Major Ohio utilities manufacturers say they won’t pay FirstEnergy’s surcharge for cold weather last winter, and FirstEnergy installs fences and cameras at substations to deter metal thieves. (Columbus Business First, Toledo Blade)

SOLAR: The Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity backs Wisconsin utilities’ proposed rate structure changes as a Tea Party activist tours the state promoting solar power. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

WASTE-TO-ENERGY: Officials in Toledo consider closing the city’s methane cogeneration plant, which is costing the city $1 million a year to operate. (Toledo Blade)

ELECTRIC CARS: In an update to a 2012 report, the Union of Concerned Scientists says more renewable energy on the grid means electric cars are now cleaner than hybrids in most of the country. (New York Times)

NATURAL GAS: A leak in a natural gas pipeline forces evacuations in Michigan. (MLive)

CLIMATE: A study finds climate action can spur economic growth. (Reuters)

ETHANOL: Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says he expects the White House to restore cuts to federal biofuel mandates. (Des Moines Register)

TRANSMISSION: The Sierra Club endorses the Grain Belt Express transmission project; regulatory hearings in Missouri are scheduled for November. (Columbia Tribune)

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COMMENTARY: Could a “minimum bill” resolve utility conflicts over net metering? (The Energy Collective)

CORRECTION: Two items in yesterday’s digest on Ohio wind farm delays should have been credited to Columbus Business First, not the Columbus Dispatch.

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