Daily digest

Wisconsin lawmaker wants to freeze renewable standard

WIND: Construction firms are keeping busy as developers rush to complete wind farms before the production tax credit expires at the end of the year, taking thousands of jobs with it. (Midwest Energy News)

ALSO: A Wisconsin legislator plans to introduce a bill in January that would freeze the state’s renewable energy standard at 2012 levels, in an effort to stop a small wind farm in his district; and Republican governors are “tip-toeing” around the PTC issue to avoid setting up a confrontation with the Romney campaign. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Stateline News Service)

SOLAR: A new report finds big-box retailers like Walmart, Costco and Kohl’s are the leading commercial users of solar power; and a second Ohio solar firm defaults on a state loan. (New York Times, Toledo Blade)

CHEVY VOLT: GM says reports the company is losing as much as $49,000 on each Chevy Volt sold are “grossly wrong” and fail to consider that development costs are spread across a vehicle model’s lifetime. Former GM chair Bob Lutz offers a math lesson and some choice words for “the knee-jerk Volt bashers.” (Detroit Free Press, Forbes)

POLITICS: Where do Obama and Romney differ on energy policy? (Washington Post)

WASTE-TO-ENERGY: Proponents of plasma gasification, a military-developed technology, say it can convert trash to clean energy without the harmful byproducts of older-style incinerators; local officials in northern Michigan consider a $28 million project that will use the technology. (New York Times, Alpena News)

MICHIGAN: Labor unions are divided over a measure to increase Michigan’s renewable energy standard, while some religious leaders speak out in favor. (MLive.com, Public News Service)

CLIMATE: An EPA official says a Republican bill to cut spending on international efforts to reduce greenhouse gases would “cripple” the agency’s climate efforts. (The Hill)

EFFICIENCY: An Indiana school district hopes to save as much as $11 million over the next ten years thanks to an energy-saving program. (Evansville Courier & Press)

OIL: Landowners opposed to expanding an Enbridge pipeline in Michigan are fighting a lopsided battle. (InsideClimate News)

COMMENTARY: Media Matters says the news industry’s “myopic focus on Solyndra” has overshadowed a bigger story about the solar industry’s growth, and Dan Haugen says energy use may not rebound with the economy. (Media Matters, Twin Cities Business)

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