Daily digest

FirstEnergy may support ‘New York-style’ plan for its struggling nuclear plants

NUCLEAR: Amid climate change concerns, researchers say a looming threat for nuclear plants is the availability of suitable water to cool them. (Midwest Energy News)

ALSO:
• A FirstEnergy official says the utility may support a “New York-style” scenario to save its struggling nuclear plants in Ohio and Pennsylvania. (Platts)
• Illinois lawmakers say deliberations continue over saving nuclear plants there, but local officials aren’t seeing much progress. (Bloomington Pantagraph)

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PIPELINES:
• In the months leading up to a federal agency’s decision to approve the Dakota Access pipeline, industry players sought a fast-track permitting process. (DeSmog)
• The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe may have some legal advantages in the courtroom as a sovereign nation with long ties to the land, but a victory in fighting the Dakota Access pipeline may simply result in a re-routed project. (Associated Press)
• Opponents of a planned natural gas pipeline through Ohio and Michigan claim at least 200 letters in support of the project filed with federal regulators are fraudulent. (Toledo Blade)

ELECTRIC CHOICE: Michigan faces an energy transformation, but the role of investor-owned utilities and alternative suppliers going forward is the “subject of intense debate” among lawmakers. (Utility Dive)

SOLAR: A 10-megawatt solar array under construction at a Minnesota National Guard base is severely damaged in a strong storm, delaying its official opening. (Duluth News Tribune)

COAL:
• Some lawmakers in Congress want to tap the federal mine reclamation fund to extend health and pension benefits for retired miners. (McClatchy)
• As thousands rally in Washington D.C. to support a bill to protect retired miners’ health and pension benefits, Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio is hopeful the bill will pass. (Columbus Dispatch)

WIND: A renewable energy developer expresses interest in leasing land for wind turbines in southwest Michigan. (St. Joseph Herald-Palladium)

GRID:
• While new high-voltage power lines could help integrate more renewables into the power grid, “the U.S. electricity transmission system is saddled with a sprawling regulatory process that vets proposed long-distance projects at a glacial pace.” (ClimateWire)
• AEP Ohio is investing $2 million to upgrade the transmission system in southeast Ohio. (Transmission & Distribution World)

BIOFUELS: Upper Peninsula residents in Michigan voice concerns about pollution from a local biomass plant. (ABC-10)

MERGERS: Investors predict a wave of mergers within the pipeline industry may be coming. (Bloomberg)

INFRASTRUCTURE: After a 12-year-old was electrocuted in her backyard in Detroit, the city’s mayor is ordering an investigation into the many old, dormant power lines across the city. (WWJ)

UTILITIES: Columbus, Ohio corporate giants AEP and Nationwide continue to fight over who should pay $16,000 for damage to a house, though bigger regulatory issues are at stake. (Columbus Dispatch)

CLIMATE: The U.S. needs to overhaul its energy policy and put a price on carbon to avoid major climate and health impacts, according to a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. (Greenwire)

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EFFICIENCY: A mid-Michigan school district is recognized by the governor for energy efficiency investments. (MLive)

COMMENTARY: An Enbridge official says transporting oil and gas through pipelines is necessary to meet the country’s energy needs. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

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