MERGER: Illinois regulators give the final statewide approval needed for the $5.7 billion Wisconsin Energy/Integrys merger, with a long list of conditions. (Chicago Tribune)

ALSO: Wisconsin Energy names its new team of executives to take over operations in Illinois, including at the troubled Peoples Gas. (Crain’s Chicago Business)

***SPONSORED LINK: Energy and the Earth, a free online offering by University of Wisconsin, gives you a big picture perspective on energy issues. Participate for free and at your own pace: www.moocs.wisc.edu ***

SOLAR: A new report shows Minnesota is poised to be the country’s second-largest market for community solar and, depending on upcoming regulatory decisions, could far surpass California as the largest in the U.S. (Midwest Energy News)

MEANWHILE: Officials in Athens County, Ohio are working with local school districts to develop the state’s first community solar project. (Columbus Dispatch)

CLEAN POWER PLAN:

  • Unless EPA’s proposed rules are “demonstrably and significantly improved,” Indiana Gov. Mike Pence says his state will not comply. (Indiana Public Media)
  • In the run-up to a House vote on scuttling the proposed rules, opponents and supporters draw their own conclusions from an Energy Information Report about the potential impacts on ratepayers. (Greenwire)

COAL:

  • Congressional Republicans are mum about what they plan to do with a $3 billion aid package proposed by the White House to help coal country transition to a new economy. (Inside Climate News)
  • A MISO analysis shows that the amount of coal generation within its system could be cut in half if proposed federal carbon rules are finalized. (Utility Dive)

NUCLEAR: Researchers at MIT are developing a concept for floating nuclear plants that would be easier to deploy than land-based systems and protect against natural disasters. (Phys.org)

BIOFUELS:

  • The Energy Information Administration reports that U.S. ethanol production climbed to a record high last week. (Reuters)
  • Hundreds are in line to give testimony at an EPA hearing on newly proposed renewable fuel standards. (Associated Press)

OIL AND GAS:

  • Energy attorneys warn oil and gas companies that money-saving cutbacks during times of low commodity prices should be done carefully in order to avoid litigation. (EnergyWire)
  • A FERC commissioner says it will take “creative ideas” to integrate a much larger portion of natural gas into the transmission system. (TD World)
  • Oklahoma regulators are moving urgently to address the spike in earthquakes around the state, calling the issue a “game changer.” (Reuters)
  • Tribal leaders in North Dakota want to regulate oil development themselves. (Associated Press)

ELECTRIC CHOICE: A bill awaiting Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner’s signature seeks to control the fees charged to ratepayers if they opt for an alternative power supplier. (ABC-7 TV)

***SPONSORED LINK: The Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association presents its annual Michigan Renewable Energy Fair June 26-27. Features include an electric vehicle showcase, workshops, renewable energy demonstrations, kids’ activities, and much more! ***

DIVESTMENT: A bill in California requiring its two state pension funds to divest in coal-mining companies moves forward. (Reuters)

COMMENTARY: Regulators correctly ruled that a Minnesota utility could not bill North Dakota ratepayers to help pay for solar projects in Minnesota. (Bismarck Tribune)

Andy Balaskovitz

Andy has been a journalism fellow for Midwest Energy News since 2014, following four years at City Pulse, Lansing’s alt-weekly newspaper. He covers the state of Michigan and also compiles the Midwest Energy News daily email digest. Andy is a graduate of Michigan State University’s Journalism School, where he focused on topics covered by the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism and wrote for the Great Lakes Echo. He was the 2008 and 2009 recipient of the Edward Meeman Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Environmental Journalism at Michigan State.

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