Daily Digest

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)

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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. (Indianapolis Star)
• How Indiana’s solar policies compare to other Midwest states. (Indianapolis Star)
• Indiana utilities and their political action committees poured millions into the general assembly this year in the form of gifts, entertainment, campaign contributions and lobbying as lawmakers considered net metering changes. (Indianapolis Star)
• The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board has installed five solar projects at city parks over the past two years, saving residents tens of thousands of dollars in energy costs a year. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
• Ann Arbor, Michigan officials will hold public hearings this month on proposed rules for ground-mounted solar projects. (MLive)

POLICY:
• Midwest electric customers in regulated states could end up paying twice for grid reliability under the Department of Energy’s plan to support coal and nuclear plants. (La Crosse Tribune)
• The leader of the Trump administration’s effort to support coal and nuclear plants is a former longtime lobbyist for Ohio-based FirstEnergy, which stands to directly benefit from the proposal. (E&E News)

COAL: Dynegy says its coal plants in southern Illinois face unique challenges of “bad rate designs from the region’s grid operator and by new state subsidies for nuclear plants.” (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

PIPELINES:
• Ohio is suing the developer of the Rover gas pipeline over numerous water pollution violations during construction. (Associated Press)
• North Dakota regulators extend a contract for a company responsible for inspecting the Sandpiper pipeline even though the project has been shelved for more than a year and there is no plan to revive it. (Forum News Service)
• Trial for a Native American pipeline activist involved with the Dakota Access protests will likely be delayed as his attorneys gather more evidence for a “necessity” defense. (Associated Press)

OIL AND GAS: The North Dakota Senate majority leader wants to redesign oil tax distribution to protect funding for oil-producing counties struggling with infrastructure needs. (Forum News Service)

BIOENERGY: A farming family in Ohio breaks into the clean energy sector through anaerobic digesters, with plans to expand elsewhere in the state. (Columbus Dispatch)

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GRID: North Dakota regulators approve a utility’s plan to build a 250-megawatt natural gas plant to replace a Minnesota coal plant, but delay a siting decision for a 150-megawatt wind project that’s also part of the replacement plan. (Forum News Service)

COMMENTARY: A deputy U.S. secretary of energy under President Obama and the head of a company that supplies fuel for nuclear plants says Ohio should avoid the “premature destruction” of nuclear plants. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

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