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.

Ohio ruling expected to lower net metering credits for customers

COAL: Dynegy and advocacy groups disagree over whether legislation being considered by Illinois lawmakers constitutes a bailout for the company’s downstate coal plants. (Midwest Energy News)

SOLAR:
• A ruling by Ohio utility regulators is likely to shrink the amount ratepayers are credited for sending excess electricity back to the grid through net metering. (Columbus Dispatch)
• Duke Energy provides a $14,600 grant for solar panels to be installed at a group home for disabled residents in Bloomington, Indiana. (Indiana Daily Student)

***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.

How Cleveland is poised to be a renewable energy leader

SOLAR: As plans for commercial-scale solar projects increase in Michigan, local planners across the state are faced with land-use and zoning questions. (Midwest Energy News)

ALSO:
• A city in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is doing various environmental tests as it plans for a solar project to offset some of its electricity costs. (Escanaba Daily Press)
• A member community of the Indiana Municipal Power Agency unveils a 2.84-megawatt solar project. (Greenfield Daily Reporter)

***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.

Ohio utility plans $1.8 billion investment in renewable energy

TRANSPORTATION: Industry leaders gathered in Ohio last week are optimistic about the future of fuel cell buses and say the fuel cell industry could add 65,000 jobs for the Midwest by 2032. (Midwest Energy News)

GRID:
• Clean energy and consumer advocates want Iowa regulators to carefully scrutinize a utility’s grid modernization plan, citing uncertainty over how $300 million a year would be spent. (Midwest Energy News)
• Several Midwest states will receive funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for rural grid improvements, including smart grid projects. (Utility Dive)

***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.

Company with first Illinois fracking permit returns it, citing ‘burdensome’ regulations

FRACKING: The first company to receive a fracking permit in Illinois has returned it, saying state regulations are too “burdensome and costly;” advocates earlier this year had identified numerous shortcomings and unanswered questions in the company’s “poorly written and incomplete” permit application. (Springfield State Journal-Register, Midwest Energy News archive)

UTILITIES:
• Illinois regulators approve new rules to rein in alternative energy suppliers using deceptive marketing tactics and variable rates, though clean energy and consumer groups oppose removal of some draft provisions. (Midwest Energy News)
• The president and CEO of Michigan-based Consumers Energy discusses the current transformational period of the utility sector. (Crain’s Detroit Business)

***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:
• Installers, ratepayers and clean energy groups are concerned Indiana’s solar market will stagnate or collapse after the state begins to phase out net metering on January 1.