Midwest Energy News

FirstEnergy says closing nuclear plants would harm customers more

NUCLEAR:
• FirstEnergy officials tell state lawmakers that closing two nuclear plants in Ohio would increase electric bills and emissions. (Toledo Blade)
• Critics say the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission isn’t doing enough to require nuclear plant owners to take preventative measures as climate change risks worsen. (Bloomberg)

EFFICIENCY:
• Some city officials in ComEd’s service territory are still wary about the upfront cost of replacing streetlights with LEDs despite financial incentives and long-term energy savings. (Energy News Network)
• The Nebraska Energy Office offers low-interest loans for energy efficiency improvements at homes and farms, regardless of whether the properties were affected by recent flooding. (Omaha World-Herald)

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ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Iowa House lawmakers pass a bill that phases in a $130 annual fee for electric vehicle drivers. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

FRAC SAND: A western Wisconsin city improperly annexed land for a frac sand mine, the state Supreme Court ruled this week. (Wisconsin State Journal)

TRANSMISSION: Increased lobbying and pressure from the Missouri Farm Bureau contributed to state lawmakers’ approving a bill to stop the Grain Belt Express transmission project after previous efforts failed. (E&E News, subscription)

SOLAR: Only one of 18 locally approved solar projects in a central Illinois county was selected to receive renewable energy credits, putting the area’s solar boom on hold. (Bloomington Pantagraph)

ADVOCACY: The Citizens Utility Board in Wisconsin — the nation’s first ratepayer advocacy group — is on a campaign to rebuild its membership and reinvent its operating model. (Isthmus)

EMISSIONS: Fifteen Indiana cities are selected to do a local greenhouse gas inventory to support climate action planning. (LaPorte County Herald-Argus)

WIND: Allete Clean Energy is in the process of repowering about half of its wind energy portfolio in Minnesota and Iowa in an effort to increase production efficiency. (North American Windpower)

RENEWABLES: Madison Gas and Electric is at odds with a group of the company’s shareholders over the speed of growing its renewable energy portfolio. (Daily Cardinal)

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BIOFUELS: Iowa officials criticize the U.S. EPA’s use of biofuel waivers for small oil refiners, saying they come “at a time when our farmers and rural America can least afford it.” (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

COMMENTARY: Rocky Mountain Institute researchers make the case for a market-driven Green New Deal, listing multiple Midwest states where utilities are transitioning to renewables to save customers money. (New York Times)

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