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Minnesota once again leads the Midwest in annual energy efficiency ranking

Minnesota is the only Midwest state ranked in the top 10 of the annual American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s State Energy Efficiency Scorecard. The state’s ninth place standing, announced this week, topped Michigan and Illinois (tied for 11th); Iowa (19th); Wisconsin (24th); Ohio (31st) and Indiana (40th). South Dakota and North Dakota rounded out the bottom.Last year Minnesota ranked 10th on the scorecard and was, once again, the only Midwest state to make the Top 10.

EPA Pressed on RFS Changes

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is considering a major change to the Renewable Fuel Standard that could include offering biofuel credits attached to gallons of ethanol exported from the United States. Already this week, the U.S.

The future of wind turbines could be bladeless

The design of Vortex's generators offers a potentially revolutionary shift from today's traditional designs, blades and all. One key facet of the Vortex design is that it uses less material than conventional turbines, meaning less maintenance as well as less noise. Vortex is not the only business looking to develop new ideas and technology in the field of wind energy. Kite Power Systems, for example, is a U.K.-based business that wants to use kites to harness wind energy. Earlier this year, CNBC spoke to researchers in the U.S.

Feds move forward on asking states to track car emissions

Federal officials moved forward with requirements that states track vehicle emissions on federal highways after months of delays that prompted California and seven other states to sue. But they might repeal the new rules next year anyway, rendering this week's decision moot. The rules require state transportation departments to track on-road emissions of greenhouse gas emissions by looking at gas purchased and miles traveled on federal highways. States must then set emissions targets, with the goal of reducing them over time.

Maryland sues EPA to get 36 coal-fired plants to increase pollution controls

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) announced yesterday that his state will sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over its decision not to require 36 coal-fired power plant units in five upwind states to run their existing air pollution controls more frequently. In July, Maryland officials indicated they were considering a lawsuit, after the EPA rejected a request to broaden the roster of states in the region responsible for helping address cross-state pollution. EPA allowed itself a six-month extension to act on the petition, which expired in mid July.

Illinois Supreme Court ruling leaves wind-power line up in the air

The Illinois Supreme Court has dealt a punishing blow to the proposed clean-power "super highway" designed to transmit output from Iowa and Dakotas wind farms to the Chicago market. The state's high court today upheld an Illinois Appellate Court ruling​ that concluded state regulators improperly approved the Rock Island Clean Line project. 

EPA seeking input on ‘potential reductions’ in RFS volumes

A notice from the Environmental Protection Agency has the biofuels community up in arms as they face the prospect of a potential hit to renewable fuel blending levels.  the EPA released a Notice of Data Availability (NODA) giving public notice and inviting comment on “potential options for reductions in the 2018 biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel volumes, and/or the 2019 biomass-based diesel volume under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program.” A 15-day comment period will be triggered when the NODA is published in the Federal Register.  In July, the EPA ann

Florida residents prohibited from using solar energy after Hurricane Irma

Millions of Florida residents lost power after Hurricane Irma raged through the state. But homeowners with solar energy installations couldn’t use them during the outage – or they’d be breaking the law. State code requires people to connect their homes to the local electric grid – and when parts of it were damaged after the hurricane, even those homeowners with solar power were legally obliged to sit in the dark.

New York governor signs law requiring B5 for bioheating in downstate counties

In New York state, New Yorkers in downstate counties will soon benefit from cleaner air due to the increased use of Bioheat fuel in heating oil. Legislation signed Sept. 13 by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo requires Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester counties to follow New York City’s lead by blending at least 5 percent biodiesel (B5) into all home heating oil sold by July 1, 2018.


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