Daily digest

Illinois General Assembly passes bill to save nuclear plants

NUCLEAR: The Illinois General Assembly passes a wide-reaching energy bill that will provide financial support for two of Exelon’s struggling nuclear plants as well as increase investments in renewable energy and efficiency. (Southern Illinoisan)

EFFICIENCY:
• Amid the announcement of a company deciding to stay in Indiana and save 1,000 manufacturing jobs, Gov. Mike Pence “ignored a plea by Carrier and other manufacturers two years ago to save jobs by leaving Indiana’s energy efficiency standard intact.” (EnergyWire)
Construction wraps on a $12 million energy efficiency project in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota, one of the largest privately funded projects in the U.S. (Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal)

***SPONSORED LINK: Exhibit or sponsor to connect to thousands of attendees regarding renewable energy and sustainability at The Energy Fair, June 16-18 in Custer, WI and coming soon to Saint Paul, MN September, 2017. Exhibitor registration opens November 30.***

CLEAN ENERGY: Critics of an Ohio proposal to make the state’s clean energy standards voluntary say the state would miss out on business opportunities and jobs within the sector. (Midwest Energy News)

UTILITIES: Major utilities are embracing e-commerce to sell energy products, particularly for energy efficiency, directly to customers. (Midwest Energy News)

OIL AND GAS:
• A developer looks to build a $1 billion, 1,000-megawatt natural gas plant in southwest Michigan. (MLive)
• The U.S. EPA issues a $2.1 million fine for air pollution from oil and gas wells in North Dakota as part of a larger crackdown on air quality violations there. (Forum News Service)

GRID: Energy officials say Missouri is one of the few states in the nation that doesn’t encourage utilities to make infrastructure investments. (St. Louis Business Journal)

PIPELINES:
• Attempts to revive the Keystone XL pipeline would still face strong opposition from Nebraska landowners. (InsideClimate News)
• President-elect Donald Trump supports completing the Dakota Access pipeline. (Reuters)
• Audio released from 2014 shows the Standing Rock Tribal Council expressed early opposition to the developer over the pipeline, though the company says it demonstrates its willingness to work with tribes. (Forum News Service)
• The pipeline developer, Energy Transfer Partners, is fighting a $15,000 fine over failing to immediately notify state regulators when it found tribal artifacts on the pipeline route. (Forum News Service)
• A North Dakota veterans group criticizes the 2,000 veterans planning to join the Dakota Access pipeline protests, saying it will further strain law enforcement. (Associated Press)
• The next test for pipeline protesters is enduring North Dakota’s harsh winter. (Associated Press)
• The Ace Hardware store chain denies being told by law enforcement to stop selling supplies to pipeline protesters. (Associated Press)

REGULATION: An Ohio Senate panel rejects Gov. John Kasich’s appointment of a Democrat to the state Public Utilities Commission, though the issue may not be settled. (Columbus Dispatch)

CLEAN TECH: Researchers at the University of Chicago are developing a technology that converts electricity from wind and solar into methane gas. (Phys.org)

COAL: Murray Energy plans to ask Ohio regulators next year to extend the life of the company’s largest coal mine in the state. (Platts)

COMMENTARY: Ohio Gov. John Kasich “must condemn” lawmakers for pushing a proposal to weaken clean energy standards and the “ideologically driven nonsense that underlies it.” (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

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