Daily digest

Company still seeking pipeline easements for one-third of Iowa landowners

TRANSPORTATION: Recent trends of developing in dense urban areas closer to public transportation are spreading to the Midwest. (Midwest Energy News)

CLIMATE CHANGE:
• The prospects for an emissions deal in Paris increase as 150 countries file pledges to curb them. (The Guardian)
The shipping industry bristles at the idea of a carbon tax or trading program to curb rising emissions. (ClimateWire)

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EFFICIENCY:
• The costs of building sustainable housing in the Midwest continue to drop, which early adopters hope will encourage more property owners. (Pioneer Press)
A Milwaukee company is poised to expand a funding mechanism that helps property owners avoid upfront costs for efficiency with a pay-as-you-go format. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

PIPELINES:
• Advocates want a federal agency to be more stringent when considering permit applications for the Dakota Access pipeline where it passes over waterways. (Associated Press)
Despite the public outcry against Dakota Access, roughly two-thirds of landowners along its proposed path have signed easements allowing the company to build on their property. (The Gazette)

COAL:
• An analysis shows that despite ongoing legal challenges with federal pollution rules, utilities are largely staying the course and closing coal plants. (Utility Dive)
The Obama administration announces it will create a regional innovation cluster in eastern Ohio to help replace lost coal jobs. (Athens News)

UTILITIES: Energy analysts say utilities are running out of time to plan for a future whose landscape is changing rapidly. (Forbes)

OIL AND GAS:
• State officials are developing a cleanup plan for an abandoned pit used to store oil drilling mud and fluids that is eroding into a river in western North Dakota. (Bismarck Tribune)
Work is complete on a $150 million bypass in western North Dakota that avoids traffic congestion due to the spike in oil and gas activity. (Prairie Business Magazine)
The Obama administration blocks Alaskan Arctic drilling for the next two years, canceling auctions for drilling rights. (New York Times)

ETHANOL: The U.S. EPA will launch an in-house investigation into whether the agency is properly accounting for the environmental benefits and drawbacks of requiring ethanol in gasoline under the Renewable Fuel Standard. (Reuters)

OIL BY RAIL: Track failure is at the heart of a growing safety problem for the industry. (Los Angeles Times)

POLITICS: Murray Energy agrees to pay $5,000 in fines for not disclosing that it paid for anti-Obama campaign signs in the 2012 election. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

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Illinois: The state owes the city of Springfield’s municipal utility $2.7 million in unpaid electric bills. (WLS-TV)

COMMENTARY:
• An analysis done on Ohio’s renewable portfolio standard “uses a statistical trick to inflate the economic impacts” of the rules. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
Industrial energy efficiency will help boost Ohio’s economy. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

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