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S.S. Badger gets two-year reprieve on coal ash dumping

CLIMATE: President Obama’s science advisers push for carbon standards from existing sources as well as increased shale gas production, meanwhile Congress makes a series of symbolic votes on various energy issues. (The Hill)

COAL: The EPA finds no toxic legacy from two closed Chicago coal plants, though pollution from earlier uses of the sites remains a problem; the EPA will allow the S.S. Badger to continue dumping coal ash for two more years; and Murray Energy seeks to vacate a mine safety rule. (Midwest Energy News, Chicago Tribune, Platts)

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FRACKING: An industry group says they remain committed to a regulatory bill in Illinois, as state lawmakers reject questions about whether industry campaign donations influenced the process; and debate over proposed new wells in Michigan centers around water use. (Carbondale Southern, Traverse City Record-Eagle)

OIL: A drilling company withdraws its plan to drill near Theodore Roosevelt National Park, federal regulatory decisions delay two North Dakota pipeline projects, and public comments to the State Department on Keystone XL won’t be available to the public without a FOIA request. (Bismarck Tribune, Minneapolis Star Tribune, InsideClimate News)

FRAC SAND: The sand rush spreads to northeast Iowa and the Black Hills of South Dakota. (Des Moines Register, Rapid City Journal)

POLLUTION: A European study is the first to conclude that pollution from car exhaust can cause asthma in children, rather than just trigger attacks. (Los Angeles Times)

OHIO: Testimony on Ohio’s renewable energy law includes a representative from the Heartland Institute as well as a group of former NASA employees denouncing “false and exaggerated predictions of future climate change.” (Associated Press)

SOLAR: NRG Energy, the largest power provider to U.S. utilities, is getting into the rooftop solar business, saying consumers are realizing “they don’t need the power industry at all.” (Bloomberg)

WIND: An Indiana wind farm is approved by local officials under the condition it maintain 1,500-foot setbacks and guarantee against losses in property value. (Kokomo Tribune)

ETHANOL: Industry representatives acknowledge the challenges posed by this year’s drought, but say they’ve been through it before. (Peoria Journal Star)

MEDIA: A small Minnesota newspaper includes an editor’s note on a news article warning of the EPA’s “dictatorial powers to impose unreasonable and counterproductive burdens.” (Romenesko)

COMMENTARY: Why cities seeking to replace their utilities may not have better options, and how far can we go with renewable energy? (Slate, New York Times)

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