Daily digest

Amid low oil prices, signs of shale boom slowdown

MICHIGAN: A FERC decision Friday has delayed rate increases related to an Upper Peninsula coal plant; an item leading yesterday’s digest was in error. (Midwest Energy News)

EPA: More than 1.6 million comments have been filed on proposed EPA carbon rules, as industry groups and some state regulatory agencies, including in Ohio, Wisconsin and North Dakota, take aim at the plan. (The Hill, Columbus Dispatch, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Bismarck Tribune)

MEANWHILE: The Natural Resources Defense Council says the rules have strong support in Iowa, Michigan, Illinois, and Ohio; and business and evangelical groups in Illinois have also come out in support of the plan; while Iowa’s newly elected U.S. representatives will likely be strong critics of the EPA. (NRDC Switchboard, Progress Illinois, E&E Daily)

ALSO: Former Reagan secretary of state George Shultz joins the growing number of prominent conservatives calling for action on climate change. (Bloomberg)

EFFICIENCY: The University of Minnesota embarks on a $92 million combined heat and power project aimed at improving reliability and meeting climate goals, as experts say energy efficiency could save trillions of dollars worldwide. (Midwest Energy News, New York Times)

OIL: Analysts say U.S. oil production can’t be sustained at low prices, and drilling magnate Harold Hamm already sees signs of a slowdown as drilling permits dropped 15 percent in October. (Bloomberg, Reuters)

SOLAR: A new study says solar panels should face west instead of south, and a Missouri utility seeks to build a 3-10 MW solar farm. (New York Times, Independence Examiner)

COAL: Reclaimed strip mines provide a habitat for bees. (Columbus Dispatch)

POLLUTION: The U.S. Supreme Court declines to hear an appeal of an Iowa pollution case, meaning a lawsuit against a Muscatine grain processor can proceed. (Muscatine Journal)

TRANSPORTATION: Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder releases a video highlighting the state’s deteriorating roads in a push for a gasoline tax increase. (Associated Press)

SMART METERS: A hearing today in Lansing will discuss utility customers’ concerns with smart meters. (CBS Detroit)

COMMENTARY: The true cost of utility “fairness” in Wisconsin, and why Michigan conservatives should support clean energy. (Midwest Energy News, Detroit News)

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