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FirstEnergy ‘bailout’ in Ohio should be denied, PUCO staff says

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OHIO: Staff at the state Public Utilities Commission say FirstEnergy’s “bailout” request should be denied. (Columbus Business First)

COMPETITION:
• As long-term power purchase agreements come to an end, Nebraska utilities are looking outside the state for alternative suppliers to keep costs down. (Midwest Energy News)
FirstEnergy’s fighting for a regulated market in Ohio is an “ironic turn of events” compared to its position in the early 2000s. (Public Radio International)

WIND: Climate change will lead to 2 percent more wind energy in the Midwest, according to the latest regional climate models. (Phys.org)

EFFICIENCY: A St. Paul-based business is selected by the White House to deploy its energy efficiency technology as a way to manage the impact of climate change. (Midwest Energy News)

PIPELINES:
• An Illinois judge rules landowners living in the path of a planned Enbridge pipeline can receive up to $30,000 each for easements. (Southern Illinoisan)
Strengthened federal pipeline safety rules will be released by the end of the month following a recent surge in accidents. (Associated Press)

RAIL: A BNSF railway in South Dakota was out of service Sunday after an ethanol tanker derailed over the weekend. (Reuters)

OIL AND GAS:
• A company operating in the Bakken oil field seeks another year to flare gas from its 110 wells. (Bismarck Tribune)
An Oklahoma man’s death shows a lack of understanding of the dangers of working at oil and gas sites. (EnergyWire)

COAL:
• Minnesota lawmakers will tour the state’s largest coal-fired power plant to get a better understanding of how it will be impacted by the Clean Power Plan. (Minnesota Public Radio)
Wisconsin families believe their health is deteriorating due to living near We Energies coal plants. (WTMJ-TV)
At a meeting of coal industry officials, good news about the future is hard to come by. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
NRG Energy will continue burning coal and install pollution controls at one of its Ohio plants instead of switching it to natural gas. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
A Southern Illinois town continues pushing for coal mining jobs. (Southern Illinoisan)
Duke Energy is facing nearly $1 billion in charges against revenues at an underperforming Indiana coal gasification plant. (Charlotte Business Journal)

SOLAR: A Dubuque, Iowa, gas station owner installs solar panels at two of his stores to offset energy costs. (Telegraph Herald)

BIOFUELS: A group of business owners in Kansas have developed an alternative way of burning wood and other crop residuals that emits less pollution. (Topeka Capital-Journal)

WATER: A Wisconsin research consortium will study how to use less water to make energy and how to use less energy to do water management. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

VEHICLES:
• The U.S. EPA accuses Volkswagen of intentionally violating clean-air standards with software that overrides cars’ emission controls. (Associated Press)
National Drive Electric Week comes to Madison, Wisconsin, where organizers say the city is ready for the transition. (WMTV)

RATES: A Nebraska utility is looking to shift the way it collects revenue with a higher monthly fixed charge and lower usage charges. (Lincoln Journal Star)

COMMENTARY:
• Staples is one of hundreds of U.S. businesses encouraging governors to support the Clean Power Plan. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
Meanwhile, an Ohio free-market think tank says the state should reject President Obama’s “clean power grab.” (Toledo Blade)

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