Daily Digest

Michigan lawmakers inch closer to deal on energy bills

GRID: While a series of high-level announcements have been made over the past four months touting solutions to reliability challenges in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, advocates say they have notably excluded distributed generation plans. (Midwest Energy News)

UTILITIES: Another Ohio utility is asking state regulators for additional revenue to maintain its financial integrity. (Midwest Energy News)

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POLICY: Michigan lawmakers inch closer to a deal on major energy bills as the state House heads into the last day of session today. (MLive)

SOLAR:
• A rural Indiana school district becomes one of the first in the state to be completely powered by solar as a way to manage energy costs. (WBAA)
• Cuyahoga County in Ohio is moving forward with plans for a solar project to power 17 county buildings. (WKSU)
• “Unforeseen snags” stall plans for two Xcel Energy community solar projects in western Wisconsin, despite strong customer interest. (LaCrosse Tribune)

NUCLEAR: Exelon is fast-tracking major capital projects at two of its nuclear plants that were saved by legislation signed last week. (Quad-City Times)

WIND:
• A new Obama administration rule would allow wind turbine operators to kill or injure up to 4,200 bald eagles — nearly four times the current limit — and not face penalty, though officials say the species will be conserved going forward. (Associated Press)
• County officials in Michigan’s Thumb region encourage state lawmakers to not increase the Renewable Portfolio Standard to 15 percent. (Huron Daily Tribune)

EFFICIENCY: Michigan-based Consumers Energy issues a $787,000 check to General Motors for the amount of energy saved at one of its manufacturing complexes. The utility’s efficiency investments also plan to save nonprofits and places of worship $1.5 million in electricity costs next year. (MLive)

OIL AND GAS: A company moves closer to clearing regulatory hurdles as it seeks to build a $1 billion natural gas plant in southwest Michigan. (South Bend Tribune)

PIPELINES:
• The strain on North Dakota’s court system from the arrests of Dakota Access pipeline protesters leads to the need for out-of-state public defenders and private defense attorneys. (Bismarck Tribune)
• The federal government will not send 100 officers to help with the Dakota Access protests, saying it might escalate tensions, not ease them. (Associated Press)
• President-elect Trump’s pick to lead the Energy Department, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, has a paid position on the board of the company developing the Dakota Access pipeline. (Mother Jones)
• Enbridge officials shut down a meeting in northern Minnesota after confrontations with protesters over plans for a pipeline replacement project. (Minnesota Public Radio)

TRANSPORTATION: Ohio cities want to increase the state’s gasoline tax to fund a growing backlog of infrastructure projects. (Columbus Business First)

CLIMATE: Donald Trump’s transition team is distancing itself from a questionnaire that sought the names of Energy Department employees who worked on climate change issues. (The Hill)

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COAL: Embattled coal company Peabody Energy plans to keep its headquarters in downtown St. Louis at least through 2023. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch) 

COMMENTARY: Ohio’s “tremendous progress” on energy efficiency would be slowed unless Gov. John Kasich vetoes a bill recently passed by lawmakers. (American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy)

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