Saturday, June 22, 2013

Minn. regulators may revoke controversial wind farm permit

WIND: The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission may revoke the permit for the controversial Goodhue wind energy project in two weeks, citing questions about its ownership, utility contract and wildlife protection plan. In Michigan, Consumers Energy is adding 105-megawatts of new wind capacity. (Star Tribune, CBS Detroit)
EFFICIENCY: A recent study says energy conservation efforts are hindered by horse-and-buggy-era utility regulations that were designed to expand gas and electric service as quickly and broadly as possible. (Midwest Energy News)
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FARM BILL: By a 195-234 margin, the U.S. House voted down a Farm Bill that would have provided $500 billion in funding for food stamps, crop insurance, and rural energy programs. (USA Today, Midwest Energy News)
VEHICLES: Kansas officials cut the ribbon Thursday on the state’s first compressed natural gas fueling station, and a new report from the International Energy Agency predicts rising use of natural gas as a transportation fuel will offset slowed growth in electricity generation. (Kansas City Star, Christian Science Monitor)
POLITICS: U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-Michigan) in a speech to manufacturers Thursday defended fracking and touted the promise of natural gas vehicles, and a top aide to the president says Obama will try to “depoliticize” climate change with a greenhouse emissions plan that can win bipartisan support. (The Detroit News, E&E Publishing)
FRAC SAND: A 10-mile stretch of scenic, Wisconsin bluff land will be off-limits to frac sand mining following a county board’s “unprecedented” ordinance. Across the river in Minnesota, meanwhile, a group of landowners have applied for frac sand mining permits on 359 acres. (Star Tribune, Winona Daily News)
LIGHTING: A Wisconsin company was hired by the city of Los Angeles to complete the largest LED street light replacement program in the world. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
ELECTRICITY: A new public radio documentary called “The Switch” explains how the nation’s electricity grid actually works, and how the half century-old patchwork system is stretched to capacity and in need up updating. (BURN/American Public Media)