Settlement to reduce emissions at 5 Michigan coal plants

UTILITIES: Major Ohio utilities signal a positive financial outlook despite a drop in power demand during the pandemic, which critics say highlights policies that protect utilities from risk at the expense of ratepayers. (Energy News Network)

ALSO: A settlement with the U.S. EPA will require DTE Energy to reduce air pollution from five southeastern Michigan coal plants, pay a $1.8 million civil penalty and replace old school and municipal transit buses with cleaner models. (Detroit News)

***SPONSORED LINK: Applications are now open for the Veterans Advanced Energy Fellowship, a yearlong program for high-performing, high-potential military veterans in advanced energy, presented by the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center. Learn more at www.vetsenergyproject.org/fellowship***

OIL & GAS:
• North Dakota wants to use $33.1 million in federal coronavirus aid to plug abandoned oil wells, many of which were created by the latest industry downturn. (Associated Press)
• Oil extraction and mining businesses had the best success in getting loans through the Paycheck Protection Program, according to a Census Bureau survey.

Indiana utilities seek to recover lost revenue from COVID-19

UTILITIES: Ten Indiana utilities ask permission from state regulators to recover lost revenue from customers during the pandemic. (Associated Press)

ALSO:
• The former FirstEnergy subsidiary that’s benefiting from a ratepayer bailout to support its nuclear and coal plants approves spending $300 million for stock buybacks to benefit shareholders. (Cleveland.com)
• Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good says she is “disappointed to learn that the tool of natural gas is under such assault” amid tough questions from shareholders about the company’s clean energy plans. (Utility Dive)
• Indiana’s consumer advocate seeks further protections from utility shutoffs for those unemployed due to the pandemic. (WBOI)

***SPONSORED LINK: Applications are now open for the Veterans Advanced Energy Fellowship, a yearlong program for high-performing, high-potential military veterans in advanced energy, presented by the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center.

Ameren plans more wind, less coal in coming clean energy shift

CLEAN ENERGY: Ameren tells investors it is “transitioning to a cleaner generation profile” that includes adding 700 MW of wind while bringing coal down to 8% of its rate base by 2024. (S&P Global)

ALSO: Renewables are expected to overtake coal in U.S. power generation earlier than expected as demand shrinks due to the pandemic and natural gas prices remain cheap. (InsideClimate News)

***SPONSORED LINK: Applications are now open for the Veterans Advanced Energy Fellowship, a yearlong program for high-performing, high-potential military veterans in advanced energy, presented by the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center. Learn more at www.vetsenergyproject.org/fellowship***

EFFICIENCY: St. Louis leads the Midwest with a new energy performance standard that requires large buildings to meet various efficiency targets.

Judge upholds ruling blocking Keystone XL environmental permit

PIPELINES: A federal judge upholds a ruling against the Keystone XL pipeline but revises it to allow a disputed federal permitting program for stream and wetland crossings to be used again for electric transmission projects. (Reuters)

ALSO:
• Joe Biden’s campaign doesn’t respond to questions about his position on the Line 3 pipeline project in Minnesota, which several of his former primary challengers opposed. (MinnPost)
• An environmental group in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula will host a virtual meeting tonight with a tribal official and a retired federal wildlife biologist on permitting for the Line 5 pipeline. (WLUC)

***SPONSORED LINK: Applications are now open for the Veterans Advanced Energy Fellowship, a yearlong program for high-performing, high-potential military veterans in advanced energy, presented by the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center. Learn more at www.vetsenergyproject.org/fellowship***

OIL & GAS:
• The Trump administration moves to block a Washington state law that imposed safety restrictions on oil transported by rail from the Bakken region.

Indiana utility seeks to pay customers less for their excess solar power

SOLAR: As the state phases out net metering, Vectren is the first Indiana utility to file a request to compensate customers less for excess solar power they send to the grid. (Evansville Courier & Press)

EFFICIENCY: Virtual home energy inspections are increasing in Minnesota after the pandemic suspended in-person visits in March. (Energy News Network)

***SPONSORED LINK: Applications are now open for the Veterans Advanced Energy Fellowship, a yearlong program for high-performing, high-potential military veterans in advanced energy, presented by the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center. Learn more at www.vetsenergyproject.org/fellowship***

WIND:
• Illinois and Indiana saw significant increases in wind power last year despite pockets of vocal opposition and, in the case of Indiana, a lack of robust incentives. (Energy News Network)
• The CEO of American Electric Power expects final state regulatory decisions this month on the company’s 1,500 MW wind project in Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana.