After Keystone spill, opponents turn up heat on Nebraska regulators

PIPELINES: TransCanada shuts down the Keystone pipeline in South Dakota after it leaks 210,000 gallons of oil, just days before Nebraska regulators are expected to release a decision on the company’s Keystone XL project. (Associated Press)

ALSO:
• Opponents of Keystone XL were already in the midst of a last-minute push to urge Nebraska regulators to reject a proposed route for the project, with one group saying the spill “should be a stark warning.” (Reuters, NRDC)
• The Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes continue to push for stronger water protections and spill response plans for the Dakota Access pipeline. (Associated Press)

***SPONSORED LINK: Registration is now open for the 2017 Veteran’s Energy Seminar on December 14 in Chicago. This one-day training for military veterans and reservists will include classroom sessions and panels on global energy security challenges.

Study raises new climate concerns about ethanol boom

BIOFUELS: A Wisconsin study finds plowing new farmland for biofuel production from 2008-2012 released carbon emissions equivalent to 20 million new cars on the road. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

SOLAR:
• Illinois solar developments are concerned about uncertainty over renewable energy credit pricing, but are overall optimistic about the state’s energy plan. (Midwest Energy News)
• A Wisconsin businessman creates a fund to help nonprofits install solar power. (Milwaukee Public Radio)

***SPONSORED LINK: Registration is now open for the 2017 Veteran’s Energy Seminar on December 14 in Chicago. This one-day training for military veterans and reservists will include classroom sessions and panels on global energy security challenges.

Lawsuit seeks to stop pipeline work in Ohio, Michigan

PIPELINES: A lawsuit filed by environmental groups seeks to stop work on the Nexus pipeline, which would cross Ohio and Michigan. (Associated Press)

ALSO:
• Enbridge says a recent report finding gaps in protective coating does not “represent a risk to the safe operation of Line 5,” but refuses to answer specific questions about the findings. (Detroit Free Press)
• Human error is blamed for a pipeline spill in North Dakota that leaked more than 11,000 gallons of brine. (Bismarck Tribune)

***SPONSORED LINK: Registration is now open for the 2017 Veteran’s Energy Seminar on December 14 in Chicago. This one-day training for military veterans and reservists will include classroom sessions and panels on global energy security challenges.

Michigan governor calls pipeline report ‘deeply concerning’

PIPELINES: Enbridge releases a report on coating gaps on the Line 5 pipeline beneath the Straits of Mackinac, which Gov. Rick Snyder calls “deeply concerning.” (MLive)

ALSO: Nebraska officials are expected to rule next week on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline route through the state. (Associated Press)

***SPONSORED LINK: Registration is now open for the 2017 Veteran’s Energy Seminar on December 14 in Chicago. This one-day training for military veterans and reservists will include classroom sessions and panels on global energy security challenges. Learn more and register to attend by clicking here.***

GRID: Illinois ranks second in the country in a national assessment of how states are modernizing their electricity transmission and distribution systems. (Midwest Energy News)

SOLAR:
• Schools in Minnesota are increasingly investing in solar energy by installing arrays owned by third parties or subscribing to community solar gardens.

Energy Dept. report author says she was pressured to play up impact of regulations

COAL: At an event in Chicago, the author of a Department of Energy reliability report says she was pressured to play up claims that regulations were to blame for coal plants closing. (Forbes)

ALSO:
• Ohio coal magnate Bob Murray, who donated heavily to both Donald Trump’s and Rick Perry’s presidential campaigns, would benefit significantly from a Energy Department plan to support coal and nuclear plants. (Houston Chronicle)
• FERC chairman Neil Chatterjee met with Ohio-based FirstEnergy last week to discuss federal plans to support coal and nuclear plants. (Crain’s Cleveland Business)
• Long-term prospects are still bleak for the U.S. coal industry one year after President Trump was elected on a promise to revive it. (Reuters)
• A Missouri utility seeks to retire one of its main coal plants a decade early as it adds more wind power.

MidAmerican says tax proposal could disrupt its wind energy plans

WIND: MidAmerican Energy says a plan in the U.S. House to scale back the production tax credit would impact its $3.6 billion plan to expand wind energy in Iowa. (Quad City Times)

ALSO: Wisconsin regulators approve a utility’s plan to build a new wind farm in Iowa. (Wisconsin State Journal)

***SPONSORED LINK: Registration is now open for the 2017 Veteran’s Energy Seminar on December 14 in Chicago. This one-day training for military veterans and reservists will include classroom sessions and panels on global energy security challenges. Learn more and register to attend by clicking here.***

SOLAR:
• Minnesota regulators rule that rural co-ops have to change the way they calculate fees for solar customers.

EPA, while scrapping Clean Power Plan, finds it could have saved lives

CLEAN POWER PLAN: The U.S. EPA finds that the Clean Power Plan — which it wants to scrap under the Trump administration — could prevent up to 4,500 premature deaths per year by 2030. (Washington Post)

POLICY:
• A FERC review ordered by the Trump administration finds few regulatory barriers to energy production, with most issues involving hydropower. (Utility Dive)
• A critic of Scott Pruitt’s leadership of the EPA is demoted from her position as chair of an advisory board. (E&E News)

CLIMATE: Alaska’s governor signs an order to develop a climate plan for the state. (The Hill)

ELECTRIC CARS: Tesla delays full production of its new Model 3 into next year. (Los Angeles Times)

UTILITIES: The growth of energy-intensive marijuana growing operations poses new load and efficiency challenges for utilities.

Minnesota regulators say Enbridge must disclose pipeline spill projections

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A new study argues that utilities should be more aggressive in adopting electric vehicle infrastructure, and that they would be justified in passing along the cost to ratepayers. (Midwest Energy News)

IOWA: After being moved from a university to a state agency with little explanation, the Iowa Energy Center relaunches this month with a smaller staff and a possible change in focus. (Midwest Energy News)

***SPONSORED LINK: Registration is now open for the 2017 Veteran’s Energy Seminar on December 14 in Chicago. This one-day training for military veterans and reservists will include classroom sessions and panels on global energy security challenges. Learn more and register to attend by clicking here.***

PIPELINES:
• Minnesota regulators say Enbridge must release spill projections for its proposed Line 3 pipeline.

In Ohio and Illinois, new efforts to support coal and nuclear plants

UTILITIES: Less than a year after state funding for microgrids was rejected by the Illinois legislature, the utility ComEd is turning to ratepayers. (Midwest Energy News)

ALSO:
• Dynegy will seek state support for some of its coal plants from Illinois legislators during an upcoming veto session. (Crain’s Chicago Business)
• PJM Interconnection could impose new charges to offset the impacts of subsidies for nuclear plants in Illinois. (Crain’s Chicago Business)
• An newly introduced Ohio bill would create ratepayer subsidies for struggling nuclear plants. (News-Herald)
• Changes in the way independent power producers are compensated could force a Michigan waste-to-energy plant to close.

Key decision expected today on solar tariffs

SOLAR:
• The International Trade Commission is expected to decide today whether two solar companies were harmed by foreign competition, which could lead to recommendations for tariffs. (Associated Press)
• Solar companies are concerned about major job losses if tariffs are imposed. (BBC News)
• Free-trade deals with South Korea, Mexico and other countries could dampen the impact of potential tariffs. (Bloomberg)

ALSO: The Colorado Springs utility board commits to 100 MW of new solar after a meeting that included a theatrical performance by advocates. (Colorado Springs Independent)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Mercedes will produce electric SUVs at an Alabama plant as part of a $1 billion expansion. (Birmingham Business Journal)

GRID: How Puerto Rico’s dependence on fossil fuels contributed to a massive power outage following Hurricane Maria.