Daily digest

Regulators study environmental impact of proposed Minnesota transmission line

SOLAR: An expanded production tax credit in Iowa may lead some utilities to invest more in solar. (Midwest Energy News)

TRANSMISSION: Minnesota and federal officials release a draft environmental study on a planned transmission project that would bring Manitoba hydropower to the Iron Range. (Minnesota Public Radio)

***SPONSORED LINK: The Illinois Renewable Energy Conference, July 16 in Normal, Illinois, will feature plenary sessions of interest to all areas of renewable energy, plus specific breakout sessions for wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, and energy efficiency.***

TRANSITION:

  • A union executive says governments around the world must properly prepare workers in fossil-fuel industries for the clean-energy transition. (Reuters)
  • Alliant Energy says it will transition from coal to natural gas at multiple plants across Iowa. (The Gazette)

OIL TRAINS: Two Chicago suburbs are joining the U.S. railroad industry and some environmental groups in opposing proposed federal regulations for oil trains. (Chicago Tribune)

EFFICIENCY: Some are criticizing an efficiency program in Kansas for “energy shaming” because it compares their energy use with neighbors. (Associated Press)

MATS: Michigan’s two large investor-owned utilities are taking steps to comply with federal Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, even as the state’s attorney general leads the court challenge against the rules. (Associated Press)

MERGER: Natural gas will be a major source of growth for Wisconsin Energy following its acquisition of Integrys, which will be completed today. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

CARBON: Alberta’s top environmental official says the province will double its price on carbon by 2017 to curb emissions. (ClimateWire)

METHANE: An analysis of which oil and gas companies are the highest methane emitters. (ClimateWire)

OIL: A new documentary airs tonight about a North Dakota town facing the inevitable boom-and-bust cycle after a spike in oil and gas development. (Desmog)

ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT: Observers say the law could be used more frequently as new environmental rules are challenged by opponents. (Greenwire)

SMART METERS: A Nebraska utility plans to install 500 new smart meters a day across its service territory. (Lincoln Journal Star)

POLITICS:

  • Energy efficiency and lifting the ban on crude exports are the two main sticking points still being worked out in House Republicans’ broad energy package. (E&E Daily)
  • A new advertising campaign by the League of Conservation Voter targets Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk over his vote last week against the EPA’s rules on power plants. (The Hill)

***SPONSORED LINK: Energy Transition Lab’s Energy Storage Summit, July 15 in Minneapolis, will bring together industry, academia and public leaders to develop a shared vision for energy storage in Minnesota. Registration is free and open to the public but space is limited.***

DIVESTMENT: Bill Gates says that simply divesting in fossil-fuel interests — without investing in alternative technologies — will not be enough to curb climate change. (AFP)

COMMENTARY:

  • Investing in renewable energy is the long-term solution to the climate crisis. (Midwest Energy News)
  • Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich should separate himself from many in his own party and sign a budget bill that would increase the state’s severance tax on fracking. (Toledo Blade)

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