Daily digest

Minnesota community solar restrictions leave out large energy users

SOLAR:
• Former Congressman Barry Goldwater, Jr.’s fight for utility customers looking to install their own solar power comes to the Midwest. (Midwest Energy News)
Large energy users feel they’re being squeezed out by new restrictions in Minnesota’s community solar law. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

NUCLEAR: A Wisconsin town is in a legal dispute with a utility over the value of a nuclear plant in the process of being dismantled. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

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OIL BY RAIL:
• Minneapolis residents are surprised and angered to learn about BNSF’s plans to expand tracks closer to residents in one neighborhood. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
• Advocates point out that nearly 15,000 schools across the country are located within the “blast zone” around railroad tracks. (Reuters)
Low oil prices mean less crude is moving by rail and more is moving by pipeline. (Bismarck Tribune)
More than 8,000 residents in La Crosse, Wisconsin would need to be evacuated in case of an emergency along a local railroad, a new emergency plan says. (La Crosse Tribune)

WASTE-TO-ENERGY: A Dubuque, Iowa agency has been a leader in capturing landfill methane for energy, but it is struggling with finding the best use for the gas. (Telegraph Herald)

OHIO: PUCO Chairman Andre Porter reflects on his first few months on the job. (Columbus Dispatch)

NATURAL GAS:
• Kansas regulators will decide how gas companies can finance the replacement of an aging pipeline network. (Topeka Capital-Journal)
• A fire on a northern Minnesota gas pipeline produced flames that could be seen for miles but was extinguished quickly. (Bemidji Pioneer)

COAL:
• As the mining industry declines, worker productivity increases. (West Virginia State Journal)
Residents weigh in on what should be done on a Cleveland property where a coal plant once existed. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

STORAGE: A Wisconsin company receives a $1.3 million federal grant to improve the safety and power of lithium-ion batteries. (Wisconsin Journal Sentinel)

OIL AND GAS:
• As oil and gas production has increased in the U.S., so, too, has the amount of salty wastewater from the fracking process. (Associated Press)
• 
States rarely punish companies for wastewater spills. (Associated Press)
An Enbridge pipeline moving through Illinois should be operational by December, the company says. (Decatur Herald-Review)
A new university initiative aims to keep oil workers in North Dakota. (Associated Press)

FRACKING:
• Attorneys defend Secretary of State Jon Husted’s decision to invalidate multiple local ballot initiatives to ban fracking. (Associated Press)
• Kansas officials say that despite fewer earthquakes, the state should not be complacent in regulating fracking. (Associated Press)
• A new report chronicles the latest in industry-backed efforts to produce favorable academic studies. (Desmog Blog)

BIOFUEL: A Colorado biofuel producer starts selling its gasoline blended with isobutanol to marinas in Missouri. (Denver Business Journal)

COMMENTARY:
• Former Republican Gov. John Engler can be credited with jumpstarting Michigan’s renewable energy industry in the early 2000s. (MLive)
Compromises should be made between state regulators and oil and gas developers to reach flaring goals. (Bismarck Tribune)
While regulations have decreased the number of fracking-related earthquakes in Kansas, the state needs a long-term solution. (Lawrence Journal-World)

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