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The Keystone Pipeline oil spill was nearly twice as big as TransCanada said

In November, the Keystone Pipeline spilled hundreds of thousands of barrels of highly-polluting tar sands oil, leaving a visible stain across a swath of South Dakota farmland. It came at an inopportune time: four days before a Nebraska commission was set to vote to approve an extension of that pipeline, the Keystone XL, which would move 830,000 extra barrels of oil per day through the Midwest to refineries in Texas and Illinois.

Rising Costs, Not Natural Gas, Main Driver of Coal Mine Closures

A new study finds rising production costs, not cheap natural gas, was the lead factor that drove thousands of coal mines across Appalachia to close. The analysis, published last week by the nonpartisan, environmental think tank, Resources for the Future, scrutinized the impact that natural gas prices, stagnant electricity demand and rising costs had on the ability of coal mines to stay in business.  The researchers created a model that allowed them to study different factors that affected the profitability of coal mines using public data from the Mine Safety and Health Administration, U.S.

Illinois town leases 20 acres of city owned land for solar

A divided Lacon City Council tentatively agreed Monday night.to lease 20 acres of city-owned farmland for 35 years to a solar energy developer that has never addressed or met with the council. The panel voted 3-2, with one abstaining, to move forward toward finalizing an agreement with Minnesota-based Solar Energy Ventures in a contract expected to come up for a final vote next month.The company would pay the city $1,300 an acre per year for the 2 megawatt installation, for a total of about $1.3 million over the life of the contract, said Acting Mayor John Wabel,

Illinois county works on solar ordinance

Work continues on a Champaign County zoning ordinance by the Zoning Board of Appeals that would regulate solar farms. A rural Ludlow Township site is one of two that a Washington, D.C-based company hopes to turn into a community solar farm.

First Floating U.S. Wind Farm May Be Built Off California Coast

An agency that leads sustainable energy efforts for cities and counties along the state’s Redwood Coast chose a consortium of companies -- including Energias de Portugal SA’s EDPR Offshore North America LLC and Principle Power Inc. -- to build a floating wind farm that may generate as much as 150 megawatts of power.

Rick Perry mulls request to save coal, nuclear plants

Energy Secretary Rick Perry is considering a request from utility First Energy for an emergency order to save nuclear and coal power plants in the regions where it operates. The Energy Department confirmed the request by the utility company for an emergency must-run order under section 202 of the Federal Power Act, which gives Perry the authority to direct the "temporary" continued use of power plants in circumstances that include war, energy shortages or sudden surges in demand.

Farmers fear ethanol talks could 'destroy' rural economy

Ethanol and oil are fighting over market share today, as the highway of tomorrow looks very different. “You're going to be looking at maybe less liquid fuel being used than we are today, whether it's electric vehicles coming on or fuel efficiency getting better, cars with better gas mileage,” said Troy Bredenkamp, Executive Director of Renewable Fuels Nebraska.

RFA Opposes Proposed PES Settlement; Would Allow Refiner ‘to Have its Cake and Sell it Too’

 The Renewable Fuels Association strongly opposes the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed settlement agreement with Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) that would allow the bankrupt refiner to unjustifiably waive the vast majority of its Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs), it said in comments filed today with the U.S. Department of Justice. The proposed PES settlement agreement, which covers the refiner’s RVOs for January 2016-April 2018, should be rejected “because the terms are patently unfair, unreasonable, and inconsistent with the purposes of the RFS program,” RFA wrote.

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