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Kansas farmer sues to stop wind farm to protect cranes

A Kansas farmer has filed a federal lawsuit to stop a new wind farm from operating out of concern for the endangered whooping crane. Edwin Petrowsky of Pratt County filed the lawsuit last month seeking injunctions against NextEra Energy Resources, whose Ninnescah Wind Farm is scheduled to start operating next week, The Hutchinson News reported. Petrowsky contends the wind farm is located in the bird’s flyway. At last count, there were an estimated 329 wild cranes in the flock that migrates between Canada and Texas.

Governor on board with forthcoming changes to Exelon bill

With only one scheduled day remaining in the General Assembly’s fall veto session, a deal has taken shape between Gov. Bruce Rauner’s office and Exelon Corp. that could pave the way for passage of the company’s proposed energy policy overhaul. Exelon has changed the proposal several time in recent weeks in attempts to address the concerns of environmental groups, consumer advocates and, in a forthcoming amendment, large manufacturers.

Amid Dakota Access protests, tribes continue to pursue clean energy

While the Sioux nation has been in the spotlight almost daily for its opposition to construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline, it has much more quietly been pursuing renewable energy development on the Standing Rock Reservation and other tribal lands across North and South Dakota.  Seven Sioux tribes in the Dakotas are developing what would be an enormous collection of wind farms on six reservations scattered across what is generally rated as one of the windiest areas in the country.

Michigan’s energy efficiency standard continues to exceed targets

Michigan’s 2008 law requiring utility spending on energy efficiency programs continued to exceed targets in 2015, surpassing goals for cutting electric and natural gas use by roughly 20 percent and proving to be a good investment for ratepayers. According to a state report, ratepayers will ultimately see $5.2 billion in savings since the program started. In 2015, utilities spent $262 million on various energy efficiency programs that will generate $1.08 billion in lifecycle savings for ratepayers. Or, for every dollar spent in 2015, customers are expected to see $4.35 in benefits.

MinnesotaCounty passes frac sand ban, first in the state to take such a stand

Sand mining in Minnesota and Wisconsin boomed and waned along with the oil and gas production practice known as hydrofracking.  The particular kind of sand found in parts of southeast Minnesota was in huge demand by exploration companies, which use it to prop open cracks in the underground shale formations that produce oil and natural gas.  Mining supporters in Winona County have said they’re trying to protect private property rights, provide jobs and preserve the region’s chance to cash in on changes in the nation’s oil industry. Commissioner Steve E.

Report Suggests Ways to Fix Renewable Fuel Standard

The future of the RFS remains in question. Though President-elect Donald Trump pledged support for the RFS during the primary campaign, the direction of his U.S. Environmental Protection Agency remains an open question.  Oil industry interests and others have called for RFS reform or repeal.

U.S. will fall short of ethanol, biofuels targets under Renewable Fuel Standard

The federal Renewable Fuel Standard will fall far short of the goals laid out by Congress, government watchdogs said Monday, dealing another blow to  the embattled program and giving more ammunition to critics who say it must be ended immediately. Government Accountability Office reports say the Renewable Fuel Standard, enacted by lawmakers in 2007, has been crippled by higher-than-expected costs of producing ethanol and other biofuels and by the boom in U.S. oil and gas production, which has made fossil fuels far more competitive in the marketplace.

Illinois Quad Cities, Clinton nuclear plants could save $3 billion in power costs: study

Preserving Quad Cities and Clinton nuclear plants will save businesses and consumers in Illinois more than $3 billion in power costs in the next 10 years, a study conducted by global consulting firm The Brattle Group showed on Monday.  Exelon Corp, which owns the plants and plans to close them, has been trying to get the Illinois Legislature to adopt legislation, known as the Next Generation Energy Plan, that would provide a subsidy for nuclear reactors for their production and environmental and economic benefits.In June, Exelon said it would close the Clinton plant on June 1, 2017, and Qua

Court revives ratepayer lawsuit over Georgia nuclear plant fees

The Georgia Court of Appeals has revived a long-running ratepayer lawsuit against Georgia Power over costs the utility wants to include in its rates to help pay for two nuclear reactors and power plant upgrades. If successful, the lawsuit could become class-action and refund ratepayers in excess of $150 million.

BP Deepwater Horizon oil in land-animal food chain

Researchers in Louisiana have discovered traces of oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill in the feathers of birds eaten by land animals. A team examined the feathers and digestive tract contents of seaside sparrows - measuring signature carbon from spilled oil. They say it "is the first demonstration that oil from the spill made it into the" food chain of land animals. The findings are published in the journal Environmental Research Letters. The study focused on seaside sparrows and the soil sediments of the Louisiana marshes.

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