Daily Digest

Midwest states, utilities remain skeptical about electric competition

DIVESTMENT: While it may be largely symbolic, a non-binding resolution from the Chicago City Council to divest the city’s pension funds and stocks and bonds from fossil fuels would send a powerful message, advocates say. (Midwest Energy News)

SOLAR: An Indiana school district fights to keep net metering in state law as a way to save money and promote clean energy. (Lebanon Reporter)

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DEREGULATION: Several Midwest states and major utilities remain skeptical about following Illinois’ lead to deregulate the electricity market. (E&E News)

GRID: Ohio utility regulators are planning a major review of the state’s power grid. (Columbus Business First)

COAL:
• Short-term projections by the Energy Information Administration show a slight increase in coal generation and production, though longer-term figures show a shift toward renewables. (Utility Dive)
• Cheap natural gas prices are making it difficult for Ohio’s coal industry to rebound. (WKBN)
• Senate Democrats continue pushing for a resolution on providing retirement benefits for coal miners, this time attaching it to the nomination of the next U.S. trade representative. (The Hill)

PIPELINES:
• Opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline argue in court to reverse South Dakota regulators’ decision last year to approve the project’s path through the state. (Associated Press)
• Dakota Access pipeline protests have renewed challenges against proposed projects in Minnesota and other states. (MinnPost)

SUSTAINABILITY: The developers of a plan to revitalize a long-vacant building in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan aim to make it a net-zero building through solar and geothermal installations. (MLive)

OIL AND GAS:
• North Dakota lawmakers are anticipating more grim budget news due in part to the slumping oil industry. (Associated Press)
• The two biggest rail-shipping companies that move oil out of North Dakota are not concerned about the Dakota Access pipeline’s potential impact on their business, which relies more on other commodities than oil. (Associated Press)
• Opponents of natural gas pipelines aim to keep the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission without a quorum “in order to keep it paralyzed.” (RTO Insider)
• A local official in Ohio raises concerns about a company’s plans for horizontal fracturing near a residential area. (Youngstown Vindicator)
• Michigan-based DTE Energy considers purchasing a 1,200-megawatt natural gas plant to replace coal generation that is being retired. (Daily Energy Insider)

COMMENTARY:
• Rolling back environmental regulations on fossil fuels won’t bring back coal jobs, according to a Union of Concerned Scientists analyst. (Union of Concerned Scientists)
• A national wind industry group says an Ohio organization “uses misleading and out-of-date information to attack clean energy” in a new report. (American Wind Energy Association)

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