Daily digest

Federal permits clear the way for contested Iowa pipeline

ELECTRIC CARS: A Michigan utility plans a $15 million buildout of electric vehicle chargers; critics are concerned the plan could drive out private sector competitors. (Midwest Energy News)

PIPELINES:
• The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approves 60 river crossings for the Dakota Access pipeline in Iowa, clearing the way for construction. (Associated Press)
• Ohio residents plan to protest a proposed new natural gas pipeline. (WCPO)

UTILITIES:
• FirstEnergy’s stock is downgraded as the utility pursues “bailouts” for power plants and faces tougher competition. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
• Critics of Ohio utilities “bailout” plans are not letting up as the plans are modified to avoid federal review. (Utility Dive)
• A Michigan cooperative says a refund for overpayments for an Upper Peninsula power plant “is great news,” but “does not fix the problem.” (ABC 10)

WIND:
• The largest wind project in Iowa’s history is back on track after MidAmerican Energy reaches an agreement with major industrial customers. (Midwest Energy News)
• A Nebraska company gains a permit for the first of three new wind farms it’s planning for the state. (Lincoln Journal Star)

SOLAR:
• A new program is helping two Midwest hospital systems offer solar incentives to employees. (Midwest Energy News)
• A $500,000 grant will help a southern Illinois college install solar panels. (Belleville News-Democrat)
• A Wisconsin town considers using solar power to cut costs at its swimming pool. (WEAU)

FRACKING: Nebraska officials won’t appeal a judge’s decision rejecting a proposed wastewater disposal well in the state. (Lincoln Journal Star)

BIOFUELS:
• “Severe, unintended consequences” of expanded corn production are causing environmental groups to change their position on ethanol mandates. (Bloomberg)
• A new cellulosic ethanol plant is under development in North Dakota. (Grand Forks Herald)

CLIMATE: Minnesota creates a new Office of Enterprise Sustainability to help state agencies cut greenhouse gas emissions, among other efforts. (Patch)

EFFICIENCY: An Ohio county pushes efficiency and clean energy to compete for a national prize. (Route Fifty)

HYDRO: A new report says the U.S. could increase its hydropower capacity 50 percent by 2050. (Washington Post)

COMMENTARY: A new conservative energy group in Minnesota “is well-grounded in the reality that cleaner energy pays off in the long run.” (Mankato Free Press)

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