Daily digest

Quebec derailment turns attention to oil-by-rail growth

OIL: A deadly train derailment in Quebec over the weekend is likely to bring intense scrutiny to the growth in shipping crude oil by rail. At least five people were killed and another 40 are missing after a train derailed while carrying more than 50,000 barrels of crude from North Dakota. The accident may also affect the debate over the Keystone XL pipeline. (Reuters)

PIPELINES: Enbridge Energy is trying to use a regulatory shortcut to get its 600-mile Flanagan South pipeline in the ground before it provokes the sort of opposition the Keystone XL project has faced. The company wants to start construction in August on the line from Illinois to Oklahoma. (Midwest Energy News)

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MORE PIPELINES: Backers of the proposed Bluegrass Pipeline in Ohio say they are negotiating access with landowners in hopes of completing the 1,153-mile project by 2015. The pipeline would carry natural gas liquids from Ohio wells to processors along the Gulf of Mexico. (Akron Beacon Journal)

ETHANOL: Oil and gas companies will try to convince the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee that the federal Renewable Fuel Standard is an “unworkable biofuels mandate.” Meanwhile, Sioux Falls-based ethanol producer Poet has hired a federal lobbyist to help push back against criticism of the fuel standard. (Omaha World-Herald, The Des Moines Register)

STORAGE: Ohio’s FirstEnergy says it’s delaying a proposed compressed-air energy storage project due to low power prices and insufficient demand. Also: FirstEnergy has begun delivering wind and hydro power to Cleveland customers as part of a green power deal negotiated by the city. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

FRACKING: With Gasland II scheduled to debut this evening on HBO, the Associated Press profiles the network of “idiosyncratic true believers, many of them middle-aged women,” who have become the face of the nation’s anti-fracking movement. (Grist, The Associated Press)

FRAC SAND: In Minnesota, frac sand mines setting up within a mile of a trout stream will need to acquire a special permit from the state. The lawmaker who wrote the bill said it allows officials to place extra scrutiny on the most environmentally sensitive areas. (Winona Daily News)

EMISSIONS: A new website lets citizens of 20 Minnesota cities track and compare their communities’ progress on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

VEHICLES: As faster hybrids and electric cars pass them by, low-speed electric vehicles (also known as “neighborhood electric vehicles”) still have their devotees. (Racine Journal Times)

COMMENTARY: The way most states pay for road maintenance and construction is broken, but adding extra fees and taxes for hybrid and electric vehicles is a “slightly misguided approach.” (Detroit Free Press)

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