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Utility executive says ‘the industry is falling apart’

UTILITIES: In its rate case filed this week, Xcel Energy proposes to decouple its revenue from electricity sales in Minnesota, a process that would “fundamentally change the nature of the business” by removing disincentives to cut energy use. (Midwest Energy News)

ALSO: Underscoring the challenges that utilities face, a top power executive tells a conference in Houston that “the industry is falling apart.” (Reuters)

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SOLAR: Iowa will receive $1 million from the Department of Energy to promote solar power in the state, and a North Dakota cooperative begins to explore net metering: “this is what the rest of the country is talking about.” (Des Moines Register, Bismarck Tribune)

WIND: MidAmerican begins work on $1.9 billion worth of new Iowa wind farms, and Basin Electric agrees to buy power from two North Dakota wind farms. (Des Moines Register, Associated Press)

EXELON: Financial reports show Chicago-based Exelon will earn as much as $100 million from the wind tax credit it sees as a threat to its nuclear operations; meanwhile, a new report says Exelon is in the best position among U.S. utilities to profit from its existing nuclear fleet. (Greenwire, Forbes)

EPA: At a hearing today, an economist will call for allowing a state-level carbon tax as an option to meet EPA carbon limits for existing power plants; and senators from Nebraska and North Dakota want “listening sessions” on climate rules to be held in their states. (The Hill, Omaha World-Herald, Grand Forks Herald)

COAL: Activists who want to shut down coal plants face an uphill battle in Indiana. (Indianapolis Star)

OIL: Exxon may be fined $2.6 million for failing to promptly report an Arkansas pipeline spill, TransCanada says the lengthy Keystone XL approval process is likely to become the new normal for cross-border pipeline projects, and North Dakota launches a new assessment of its oil and gas industry. (The Hill, Grand Forks Herald)

WATER: A new report says water shortages are a growing threat to energy production in the U.S. and elsewhere. (Wall Street Journal)

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EFFICIENCY: Milwaukee is halfway to its goal of cutting energy use 20 percent by 2020. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

COMMENTARY: How the world is failing at its climate goals, in one chart. (Washington Post)

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