The Trump administration’s shifts in energy and environmental policy likely won’t change the downward trajectory of America’s coal sector, industry experts reported at a panel in Cleveland this week.
Plans to build natural gas plants to replace coal-fired generation in Michigan are facing scrutiny from advocates looking to ensure renewable energy and energy efficiency are also being considered. The Michigan Public Service Commission is considering a request by the Upper Michigan Energy Resources Corp. (UMERC) to build two gas plants totaling 183 megawatts in the Upper Peninsula to replace a 62-year-old coal plant in Marquette. Meanwhile, earlier this month DTE Energy announced plans to build a $989 million, 1,100-MW natural gas-powered combined cycle plant in southeast Michigan near Detroit. While the projects are in different stages of development and are on a vastly different scale, clean energy advocates say there are similarities in determining what comprises Michigan’s future energy mix and how reliant the state will be on natural gas as aging power plants are retired.
Ohio’s Rover Pipeline project faces continuing problems, with more spills of drilling mud, ongoing questions about diesel fuel contamination, and orders issued last week by both the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Ohio has the most underground natural gas storage wells of any state and the highest number of those which might be vulnerable to leaks, according to a new study by researchers at Harvard University and Boston Children’s Hospital.
Releases of more than two million gallons of drilling mud triggered federal and state agency actions against the developer of Ohio’s Rover Pipeline this month, and advocates suggest those incidents may be part of a bigger problem in the rush to develop Ohio’s shale oil and gas.
Michigan officials are considering the need for a longer-term funding solution for the state’s oil and gas regulatory program as the recent drop in oil and gas prices have increasingly shifted oversight costs from the industry onto taxpayers.
A former coal plant in Joliet, Illinois is an example of the type of facility that can successfully be converted to natural gas. Not all plants are as ideal.
Two of the leading voices in the debate over legislation involving a proposed natural gas plant northwest of Minneapolis no longer actively oppose the bill.
A group of large industrial users joined consumer advocates in decrying a bill that would permit Xcel Energy to build a 786 megawatt combined cycle natural gas plant without regulatory approval.
Minnesota’s second biggest utility, Great River Energy, has begun to significantly ramp down the output of its largest coal plant as the market has shifted to wind power and natural gas production.