Most states fighting Clean Power Plan already on track to hit targets

CLIMATE: Most of the 27 states fighting the Clean Power Plan are already on track to meet their targets. (Reuters)

ALSO: Researchers say “it’s no longer appropriate” to say science can’t determine whether climate change is to blame for individual weather events. (InsideClimate News)

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• A Wyoming data center will provide backup power to the state’s grid. (EnergyWire)
• Grid operators around the country are exploring a wide range of potential fixes to what’s known as the “duck curve” problem in which solar production and demand peaks don’t align. (Midwest Energy News)

• A major Nevada casino chain expects to start seeing a payback after seven years after leaving its utility.

Enbridge drops plans for Minnesota pipeline

NOTE TO READERS: Midwest Energy News is taking a break for Labor Day. The email digest will return on Tuesday, September 6. PIPELINES: Enbridge is no longer pursuing its proposed Sandpiper pipeline in Minnesota, saying the project is no longer needed. (Minnesota Public Radio)

• A federal judge refuses to stop work on the Dakota Access pipeline amid challenges from the Three Affiliated Tribes. (Associated Press)
• The Dakota Access project was approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers despite objections from multiple federal agencies.

Iowa regulators approve nation’s largest wind project

WIND: Iowa regulators sign off on a 2 GW wind project, expected to be the nation’s largest. (Associated Press)

• A recent court decision on pollution violations is the latest blow for a troubled Illinois coal plant. (Midwest Energy News)
• Advocates say Peabody Energy’s proposed settlement to fund mine cleanup still falls short but is a better deal than other states have seen. (St. Louis Public Radio)

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PIPELINES: A standoff protesting the Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota is drawing Native American activists from all over the country. (Los Angeles Times)

• Drilling permits in Michigan are at their lowest level in 90 years amid low prices.

Iowa regulators deny request to delay Dakota Access pipeline

PIPELINES: Iowa regulators deny a request to stop construction of the Dakota Access pipeline amid eminent domain concerns; developers say the project is already 22 percent complete in the state. (Radio Iowa, Des Moines Register)

• An Ohio utility is the latest to propose a significant increase in the fixed portion of customer bills, which advocates say will discourage solar and efficiency. (Midwest Energy News)
• Shareholders will vote next month on Great Plains Energy’s proposed acquisition of Westar. (Topeka Capital-Journal)

***SPONSORED LINK: Discover the human side of the energy future at the 2016 Surge Summit, featuring interactive panels, group discussions, and networking with leading experts in smart grid customer engagement.***

BIOFUELS: Biofuel supporters criticize a new study questioning the climate benefits of renewable fuels, noting the work was funded in part by an oil industry group. (MLive)

• An Iowa rural co-op expands its unique solar installation business to help neighboring co-ops develop their own projects.

Federal grants to help revitalize Ohio coal communities

COAL: Ohio University gets a $2 million federal grant, and $2 million in matching funds, to help revive economies in coal-producing regions, another $22,000 goes to a technology center in Youngstown. (Columbus Dispatch, Youngstown Vindicator)

• Minnesota advocates say renewable energy will continue to grow in the state despite the loss of a law prohibiting the import of new coal-fired electricity. (ClimateWire)
• Executives at a gathering in southern Illinois say regulations are holding back their industry: “we would hope a Trump administration would pull the plug on the Clean Power Plan and the MATS rule.” (Carbondale Southern Illinoisan)
• A federal judge says an Illinois coal plant is emitting too much soot and orders a cleanup plan. (Associated Press)

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DEVELOPMENT: Three Minnesota sites are eyed for major efforts toward net-zero development over the coming decades.

Ohio town to vote on fracking for the sixth time

• An anti-fracking measure will be on the ballot for the sixth time in Youngstown, Ohio. (Youngstown Vindicator)
• Science advisers to the EPA conclude the agency’s report on whether fracking pollutes drinking water across the nation is “comprehensive but lacking in several critical areas.” (Washington Post)

OVERSIGHT: Michigan’s new top environmental regulator says her past work as an oil and gas lobbyist won’t affect how the agency is run. (Associated Press)

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• Ten activists protesting a North Dakota pipeline are arrested on trespassing charges. (Bismarck Tribune)
• How the Dakota Access pipeline will shake up oil delivery in the U.S. (Reuters)

• Industry groups say the federal government has illegally called off leasing sales on public lands.

‘Unintended consequences’ have green groups cooling to ethanol

BIOFUELS: “Severe, unintended consequences” of expanded corn production are causing environmental groups to change their position on ethanol mandates. (Bloomberg)

• The Republican and Democratic party platforms spell out drastic differences on energy, but to what extent do they drive policy? (InsideClimate News)
• Activist Tom Steyer says climate concerns will drive turnout among younger voters. (ClimateWire)

VW SCANDAL: A judge gives temporary approval to a settlement that could offer thousands in compensation for owners of VW diesel cars involved in the company’s emissions-cheating scheme. (USA Today)

CLIMATE: Rising sea levels and tidal flooding threaten 18 military bases along the East Coast and Gulf Coast, according to a new report.

Federal permits clear the way for contested Iowa pipeline

ELECTRIC CARS: A Michigan utility plans a $15 million buildout of electric vehicle chargers; critics are concerned the plan could drive out private sector competitors. (Midwest Energy News)

• The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approves 60 river crossings for the Dakota Access pipeline in Iowa, clearing the way for construction. (Associated Press)
• Ohio residents plan to protest a proposed new natural gas pipeline. (WCPO)

• FirstEnergy’s stock is downgraded as the utility pursues “bailouts” for power plants and faces tougher competition. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
• Critics of Ohio utilities “bailout” plans are not letting up as the plans are modified to avoid federal review.

Maine’s governor proposes ending net metering

• Maine’s governor proposes ending net metering after a three-year “grandfather” period. (Maine Public Broadcasting)
• A liberal New York congresswoman explains why she partnered with a utility industry group on a letter opposing net metering. (Grist)
• San Diego cancels five projects with SunEdison amid the company’s bankruptcy. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

• A federal bankruptcy judge says Peabody Energy can still face mine reclamation requirements as it moves through bankruptcy. (Midwest Energy News)
• Wyoming’s governor signs an agreement to partner with a consortium of Japanese companies to research “clean” coal technologies.

New England power plant owners fight gas pipeline plans

PIPELINES: Owners of New England power plants, who benefit from current high electricity prices, push back at efforts to expand natural gas pipeline capacity. (Portland Press Herald)

• A solar project at a defunct New York nuclear plant is under fire over plans to cut down 350 acres of trees. (Associated Press)
• A Texas utility agrees to drop a proposed fee for solar customers. (Texas Observer)
• A judge advises against an Arizona co-ops plans to increase charges on solar customers. (Arizona Daily Star)

COAL: An Ohio utility says it will close four of the seven units at a power plant at the center of its proposed “bailout” request by 2020.