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This week’s Midwest Energy News: Coal plant shutdowns, haze in national parks, and more

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COAL: An Illinois town deals a setback to a controversial coal mine plan, and Xcel Energy defends its largest Minnesota coal plant against claims its emissions contribute to haze in national parks. (Midwest Energy News, Minneapolis Star Tribune)

KEYSTONE XL: Several prominent environmental activists are among nearly 50 people arrested in an anti-Keystone XL protest at the White House. (Washington Post)

MINNESOTA: Gov. Mark Dayton appoints Nancy Lange, a clean energy policy advocate, to the state’s Public Utility Commission. (MinnPost)

COAL: Natural gas is disrupting coal markets outside the electricity sector, and a credit agency warns of more bankruptcies in the U.S. coal industry. (Midwest Energy News, International Business Times)

KEYSTONE XL: Pipeline opponents argue in court that Nebraska’s governor lacked the authority to approve a revised route through the state, and Republicans in Congress post a “Keystone Clock” online to track the number of days the review process has taken. (Lincoln Journal Star, The Hill)

FRAC SAND: Citizens in Red Wing, Minnesota, pledge to recall the city’s mayor after he accepted a job lobbying for a frac sand industry group. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

CARBON CAPTURE: Ohio State University researchers develop a process that can capture 99 percent of the CO2 emissions from coal, but the technology still has to be proven in a real-world setting. (Midwest Energy News)

COAL: A string of recently announced coal plant shutdowns in Minnesota represent only about 3 percent of the state’s CO2 emissions, and an Indiana TV station does an extensive report on the health impact of coal emissions. (Minneapolis Star Tribune, WTHR)

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Plus: Several prominent environmental activists are among nearly 50 people arrested in an anti-Keystone XL protest at the White House.

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