Daily Digest

EPA administrator holds closed-door meetings, questions climate science while in North Dakota

SOLAR: Advocates in Ohio are leading a new program that aims to reduce the “soft costs” of residential solar installations in the state’s Appalachian coal region. (Midwest Energy News)

ALSO:
• In response to upcoming net metering changes, officials in Bloomington, Indiana vote to fast-track plans to install solar panels at 30 different sites by the end of the year. (Indiana Public Media)
• A series of solar installations are under construction in Cedar Rapids, Iowa to power drinking water booster stations. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)
• A YMCA in Illinois is planning to save $3,000 a year after installing solar panels on the roof. (Bloomington Pantagraph)
• Across the country, state utility regulators are revisiting net metering policies and are not necessarily receptive to utility proposals. (Utility Dive)

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EPA:
• While in North Dakota, U.S. EPA administrator Scott Pruitt holds multiple closed-door meetings with state officials on energy and agriculture, and also appears on a local radio program to cast doubt on climate science. (Grand Forks Herald, The Hill)
• Pruitt also said production capabilities and demand will play key roles when setting biodiesel mandates under the Renewable Fuel Standard. (Radio Iowa)

PIPELINES: Ohio landowners are concerned about the recent appointments made to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the likelihood of the Nexus gas pipeline project moving forward. (Crain’s Cleveland Business)

WIND: An Indiana resident seeks local permission to install a 10-kilowatt wind turbine on his property. (Jeffersonville News and Tribune)

OIL AND GAS: Developers planning a second natural gas plant in an Ohio town make their case to state officials for the $900 million project. (Youngstown Vindicator)

UTILITIES:
• Wisconsin regulators approve a two-year rate freeze for We Energies electric and gas customers, though questions remain about when the utility will cover hundreds of millions of dollars in deferred costs. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
• A report from two watchdog groups says utilities have made more political donations to national Republican groups than for Democrats, likely for candidates’ willingness to challenge EPA regulations. (Utility Dive)

EFFICIENCY: Clean energy groups continue to criticize Ameren Illinois’ plan to scale back energy efficiency targets established in a new last passed last year. (RTO Insider)

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WASTE-TO-ENERGY: A Chicago-based company that turns cow manure into natural gas for commercial trucks raises $47 million in equity funding. (Chicago Business Journal)

COMMENTARY:
• A Texas researcher says the decline of the U.S. nuclear power industry also creates a national security challenge by discouraging the development of nuclear scientists and engineers. (The Conversation)
• Suniva and SolarWorld’s petition calling for tariffs on imported solar panels is an ill-conceived effort that could cost 88,000 Americans their jobs, says the CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association. (Greentech Media)

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