Daily digest

Exelon blames ‘drafting error’ on renewable energy cuts in Illinois bill

PIPELINES:
• Proposed pipeline regulations in North Dakota are pitting environmental groups and landowners against an oil industry that says the rules would be too onerous in challenging times. (EnergyWire) 
• Ongoing legal challenges to Keystone XL are directed at President Obama’s authority to reject the pipeline. (Washington Post)

OHIO: State regulators open the door for another round of hearings as FirstEnergy now pursues surcharges to pay for its uneconomic plants. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

RENEWABLES: Exelon officials say a “drafting error” caused a major drop in renewable energy funding in its legislation to save struggling nuclear plants in Illinois. (Crain’s Chicago Business)

SOLAR:
• AEP begins soliciting information from developers to help the utility develop up to 400 megawatts of new solar in Ohio. (Columbus Business First)
• A Wisconsin-based company is looking to capitalize on the solar-plus-storage market in areas with high electricity prices. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

OIL AND GAS:
• The Bakken emits 275,000 tons of methane a year, according to new research, which is less than some previous estimates. (Forum News Service)
• Local officials in a North Dakota county want state inspectors stationed in their area to monitor the oil and gas industry’s dumping of waste products in landfills. (Bismarck Tribune)

COAL:
• The Energy Information Administration projects 2016 to see the largest annual decline in coal usage since record keeping began in 1949. (SNL / Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis)
Lawmakers, energy companies and environmental groups all give different explanations for the recent wave of coal plant closures in southern Illinois. (McClatchy)
Indiana advocates rally to defend the U.S. EPA’s two-year-old on coal-ash disposal. (WIBC)

UTILITIES: Chicago-based ComEd expands a program that helps customers pay electric bills to those who face extended hospital visits. (CBS Chicago)

CLIMATE: The idea of cap-and-trade started as a modest proposal by an economist in the late 1960s. (ClimateWire)

FRACKING:
• Anti-fracking advocates are setting up to try for a sixth time to ban fracking in Youngstown, Ohio. (Youngstown Vindicator)
Insurers move to limit their exposure as they grow increasingly concerned about the spike in the number of earthquakes linked to fracking in Oklahoma. (Reuters)

BIOFUELS: The industry objects to proposed federal legislation that would cap ethanol blends in the U.S. at no more than 9.7 percent by volume. (Biofuels Digest)

COMMENTARY:
• Ohio’s faith community makes the case for reinstating clean-energy standards there. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
A new renewable portfolio standard would give Kansas’ growing wind industry even more momentum. (Topeka Capital-Journal)

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