Daily digest

Closed nuclear plants using decommissioning funds for waste storage

CLEAN POWER PLAN: Several Midwest states join more than a dozen others to challenge the new federal rules in court. (WISC-TV)

OIL AND GAS:
• A new analysis casts doubt on earlier optimistic projections by the industry and the state about oil and gas production in Ohio. (Midwest Energy News)
Critics say a North Dakota panel made up of the state’s top officials continues to relax rules over natural gas flaring in favor of the industry. (Associated Press)

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NUCLEAR:
• The Department of Energy cancels plans to ship nuclear waste to an Idaho facility from other states. (Reuters)
Decommissioned plants in Wisconsin and Illinois are among several in the country that have been using funds designated for their eventual dismantling to build waste storage on-site. (Associated Press)

WIND:
• Xcel Energy expects long-term contracts for wind power to beat out natural gas on price. (Bloomberg News)
Wind developers in Iowa move their project to a different town where local approval was more timely. (Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier)
A prominent and early wind developer in Michigan is recognized by a sustainable business organization. (MLive)

POLLUTION: Officials suspect a sunken barge at the bottom of Lake Erie that has been there since 1937 could leak up to 4,700 barrels of petroleum. (MLive)

RATES: Wisconsin is unique in continuously approving higher fixed rates for utilities as a way to recoup revenue. (LaCrosse Tribune)

COAL:
• A Lower Michigan coal plant will need to stay open under a System Support Resource agreement due to concerns by the grid operator over reliability. (Coldwater Daily Reporter)
Locals appear unconcerned about strip mining for coal returning to a scenic valley in Ohio. (Al Jazeera)
Advocates in Illinois are once again pushing for a severance tax on coal production to help compensate local governments for the costs of operations. (Southern Illinoisan)
Experts say a new report on the benefits of coal being published by the IEA is “deeply confused and deeply misleading.” (The Guardian)

RELIABILITY: Ohio’s largest winter resort files a complaint against its utility for what it says is a “lack of adequate service” that’s negatively impacting the business. (Columbus Business First)

SOLAR: Nebraska farmers are increasingly turning to small-scale solar installations to offset costs. (Lincoln Journal Star)

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TRANSMISSION: ITC Midwest is installing protective devices around power lines in Iowa to prevent eagle deaths. (The Gazette)

COMMENTARY:
• Ohio lawmakers are using the Clean Power Plan as a scapegoat to not “roll up their sleeves” on clean energy and efficiency. (NRDC Switchboard)
Organized labor advocates say the Clean Power Plan is an opportunity to become energy independent, reduce pollution and drive job growth. (MinnPost)

CORRECTION: An item in Friday’s digest incorrectly said AEP is looking for a long-term power-purchase agreement for coal and nuclear plants in Ohio. The utility does not operate any nuclear plants in the state. 

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