Daily digest

As states phase out coal, Nebraska goes the other way

COAL:
• Nebraska is the only state to have increased coal usage from 2006 to 2016. (Bloomberg)
• Environmental groups are concerned about plans for a new 300-acre coal mine near a state wildlife area in southeast Ohio. (Athens News)

RATES:
• Following the latest PJM capacity auction, most Ohio customers will be paying less to ensure adequate electricity supplies three years from now, though critics say auction rule changes discriminate against certain types of clean energy and will lead to overpayments. (Midwest Energy News)
• The Missouri Senate passes a bill allowing state regulators to negotiate lower rates for manufacturing companies that use more than 50 MW of electricity. (St. Louis Business Journal)

***SPONSORED LINK: Smart Cities Technologies in Wisconsin is taking place on June 6 in Milwaukee. Organized by the Midwest Energy Research Consortium and the City of Milwaukee, this workshop will explore how cities like Milwaukee are adopting Smart Cities Technologies. Register before June 2. ***

MINNESOTA: Advocates say the new version of an energy omnibus bill passed by the legislature would still block clean energy progress, including cuts to a popular solar energy program, but that it “could have been worse.” (Midwest Energy News, Minneapolis Star Tribune)

OIL AND GAS:
• Federal regulators reject a company’s request to resume horizontal drilling for a natural gas pipeline through Ohio that has had multiple leaks. (Associated Press)
• Advocates are urging officials to block a permit for a planned refinery near a national park in North Dakota. (Associated Press)
• A North Dakota entrepreneur looks to decrease spills when oil and gas is separated from saltwater at wells. (Bismarck Tribune)

WIND:
• A company begins manufacturing rooftop wind-generating devices, known as Wind Spheres, in northeast Ohio. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
• Over a dozen North Dakota landowners have agreed to lease their land for a utility-scale wind farm, but opposition from neighbors and lawmakers could derail the project. (E&E News)

PIPELINES:
• Documents show an international firm hired by the developer of the Dakota Access pipeline used counter-terrorism tactics to help shut down protests. (The Intercept)
• A Dakota Access pipeline protester accused of endangering a police plane with his drone has been cleared of all charges. (Bismarck Tribune)

EFFICIENCY:
• The Toledo Public School district is launching a $3.35 million project to replace interior lights with more efficient bulbs, which officials expect will pay for itself in three years. (Toledo Blade)
• Students at Ohio State University repeat as winners at a competition to make vehicles run more efficiently. (Columbus Dispatch)

SOLAR:
• Consumers Energy launches a new program with Silicon Valley-based SunPower Corp. to sell solar panels directly to the utility’s Michigan customers. (MLive)
• A group-buying program in Ann Arbor, Michigan has generated strong interest from residents. (MLive)

EMISSIONS: General Motors is the latest automaker accused of rigging hundreds of thousands of vehicles with devices similar to those used by Volkswagen to ensure they pass emissions tests. (Reuters)

TRANSPORTATION: An Iowa county service that transports those with disabilities moves to more fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

WASTE-TO-ENERGY: Michigan-based DTE Energy acquires two landfill gas-to-energy projects in Texas. (Biofuels Digest)

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