Daily digest

Oil-by-rail loses dominance as prices drop, pipelines expand

OIL BY RAIL: Shipping crude oil by rail is losing its dominance as thousands of miles of new pipelines are being built, inland crude values decline and protests continue over rail tank car safety. (EnergyWire)

CLEAN POWER PLAN:
• Advocates say Kansas regulators are ignoring the untapped potential of using energy efficiency to comply with the federal rules. (Midwest Energy News)
A new calculator developed by an efficiency advocacy group shows Midwest states can make great strides in hitting their Clean Power Plan goals through efficiency. (Midwest Energy News)

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PIPELINES:
• Seven landowners file suit in Wisconsin to force Enbridge to purchase $25 million in cleanup insurance before increasing capacity of a pipeline through the state. (Sun Prairie Star)
• Newly released information shows signs of corrosion on the oil pipeline beneath the Straits of Mackinac, though the owners maintain that it is safe. (Michigan Radio)

ALSO:
• Iowa regulators are deliberating this week on whether to allow a major pipeline to pass through the state and if the developer can use eminent domain. (The Gazette)
On the first day, staff attorneys dispute the developers’ claim that regulators can’t take safety and the environment into account beyond federal rules. (The Gazette)

EMISSIONS: Environmental advocates call a United Nations panel’s proposed emission standards for airliners and cargo planes “dangerously weak.” (Associated Press)

COAL: The owner of two southern Illinois coal mines is cutting 235 jobs there, citing low natural gas prices, weak demand and “overreaching regulations.” (Southern Illinoisan)

TRANSPORTATION: Michigan is uniquely positioned to develop hydro-powered electric rail to connect outlying communities with city centers. (Michigan Radio)

EFFICIENCY: A new report says billions of dollars of energy savings are not being realized because most smart meters installed across the country don’t share meaningful usage data with consumers. (Greentech Media)

CLEAN TECH: The Obama administration’s budget proposal includes a sweeping plan to double clean energy research spending that spans 12 federal agencies. (E&E Daily)

OIL AND GAS: Chesapeake Energy — the largest oil and gas driller in Ohio — counters reports that it is pursuing bankruptcy. (Columbus Business First)

WIND: South Dakota regulators will decide on a proposed $40 million wind farm today. (Mitchell Daily Republic)

*** SPONSORED LINK: Solar Powering Iowa, March 23-24 in Cedar Rapids will be packed with an energizing mix of trainings, keynotes, breakout sessions, and networking. Register now for earlybird rates! Presented by MREA, ISETA, CRA, ELPC, and GPI.***

BIOFUELS: South Dakota receives a $1.5 million grant from the federal government to increase ethanol usage in the state. (Associated Press)

COMMENTARY: The relatively small cost of transitioning from coal to natural gas and renewables at Minnesota’s Sherco plant is “very encouraging.” (St. Cloud Times)

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