Indiana governor remains uncertain over plan to phase out net metering

VW SETTLEMENT: Advocates are concerned that Minnesota lawmakers have drawn up legislation that will prevent the state from being distributed tens of millions of dollars in emissions settlement funds. (Midwest Energy News)

PIPELINES:
• The National Wildlife Federation discovers more oil and gas spills along Enbridge’s Line 5 than they previously thought as concerns about the integrity of the pipeline increase. (Midwest Energy News)
• North Dakota lawmakers advance a bill asking the state attorney general to recoup the $34 million in costs to the state associated with Dakota Access pipeline protests. (Forum News Service)

***SPONSORED LINK: Stay current on the newest developments in the energy economy by attending the Advancing Renewables in the Midwest Conference April 24-25 in Columbia, Missouri. For registration and details: www.AdvancingRenewables.org.***

SOLAR:
• While announcing his intention to sign several controversial bills into law, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb refused to say whether one of them will be a plan to phase out net metering.

Group finds more oil and gas spills from Enbridge’s Line 5 than previously thought

Advocates with the National Wildlife Federation say they’ve uncovered more oil and gas spills from Enbridge’s Line 5 than they previously thought, raising questions about how leaks are reported and whether there have been more. The group said Monday it has found at least 29 instances of oil and natural gas liquids spills totaling more than one million gallons over the course of the pipeline’s 64-year history. That’s nearly double the amount the group previously thought had occurred. The 29 spills, which were mostly detected by the public and local government personnel rather than the company’s remote pipeline detection system, date back to 1968, according to a map of the data. The group also says its findings shed light on the history of Line 5’s inland path — which runs from northern Wisconsin to Sarnia, Ontario — while much of the attention has focused on the underwater section beneath the Straits of Mackinac.

St. Paul to power one-fourth of municipal buildings with solar

GRID: Illinois regulators hope to partner with utilities to address growing concern about the security of information and digital assets in the smart-grid era. (Midwest Energy News)

ADVOCACY: A coalition of clean energy businesses in Minnesota is formed to lobby state lawmakers about the importance of the growing sector and to strengthen existing policies. (Midwest Energy News)

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FirstEnergy dispute with rail companies could force utility’s hand on subsidiaries

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Midwest utilities looking to develop electric vehicle charging stations are dealt another blow, this time as Missouri regulators deny Ameren the ability to pass costs to ratepayers. (Midwest Energy News)
• Rural residents who drive electric vehicles are still dealing with range anxiety and few charging stations. (Associated Press)

UTILITIES: A case involving FirstEnergy’s dispute with two rail companies over coal shipments could “force the company’s hand” on what to do about its money-losing power plant subsidiaries. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

***SPONSORED LINK: Stay current on the newest developments in the energy economy by attending the Advancing Renewables in the Midwest Conference April 24-25 in Columbia, Missouri. For registration and details: www.AdvancingRenewables.org.***

WIND: For Earth Day over the weekend, Xcel Energy powered two light rail lines in Minneapolis by purchasing wind generation credits for 24 hours.

Utility shares drop after Kansas regulators reject $12.2 billion merger

SOLAR:
• Officials in Dane County, Wisconsin will study the feasibility of building a 6-megawatt solar project on 30 acres at the local airport. (Wisconsin State Journal)
• A solar group-buying program in southeast Wisconsin moves forward with a new project developer. (Racine Journal Times)

UTILITIES: Shares of Westar Energy dropped 8 percent this week after Kansas regulators unanimously voted against its planned $12.2 billion sale to Great Plains Energy. (RTO Insider)

***SPONSORED LINK: Stay current on the newest developments in the energy economy by attending the Advancing Renewables in the Midwest Conference April 24-25 in Columbia, Missouri. For registration and details: www.AdvancingRenewables.org.***

WIND: The chairman and CEO of Xcel Energy says a change in course on energy policy at the federal level is not deterring the utility from meeting customer demand for wind energy.

A solar disparity among Minnesota school districts based on the utility that serves them

OIL AND GAS: As oil and gas prices have fallen, Michigan officials turn to taxpayers to fund an oversight program that has traditionally been paid for by the industry. (Midwest Energy News)

ALSO:
• North Dakota legislators approve a measure meant to clarify the ownership rights of minerals in a Missouri River reservoir. (Associated Press)
• Energy Transfer Partners spills almost 50,000 barrels of drilling fluids into Ohio wetlands while constructing a $4.2 billion natural gas pipeline. (Bloomberg)

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Michigan utility: Economics driving move away from coal

COAL: An appeals court overturns a lower court ruling, saying AEP is responsible for the $1.4 billion cost of installing scrubbers at the Rockport Generating Station in Indiana. (RTO Insider)

ALSO:
• The Trump administration asks a federal appeals court to postpone consideration of 2012 rules requiring energy companies to cut mercury and emissions of other toxic chemicals from coal plants, even though most utilities are on pace to comply with the rules. (Associated Press)
• The CEO of Michigan-based DTE Energy says the utility’s move away from coal to natural gas and renewables is based primarily on economics. (WEMU)

***SPONSORED LINK: Stay current on the newest developments in the energy economy by attending the Advancing Renewables in the Midwest Conference April 24-25 in Columbia, Missouri. For registration and details: www.AdvancingRenewables.org.***

PIPELINES: The chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe vows to continue efforts to block oil from flowing through the Dakota Access pipeline, including raising awareness about banks and institutions that are funding the project.

Michigan congressman faces backlash over climate change position at town hall

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: While they applauded the selection of Chicago, Midwest advocates hoped to see Volkswagen settlement funds distributed to more cities in the region to support EV infrastructure. (Midwest Energy News)

CLIMATE:
• Climate change is becoming an increasingly contentious topic between Republicans and the public, and was most recently visible at a Michigan congressman’s town hall meeting. (E&E News)
• Trump administration advisers are scheduled to meet today on whether to recommend the U.S. withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. (Reuters)

***SPONSORED LINK: Solar Summit 2017 is 10! Join GTM May 16-18 for three days of packed networking opportunities and a unique mix of market intelligence with engaging panel sessions among industry leaders.