Midwest Energy News

Indiana utilities face scrutiny over coal plant self-scheduling

FOSSIL FUELS: Yale University researchers study fossil fuel development’s impact on groundwater in eastern Ohio, which could bolster landowner claims for damages. (Energy News Network)

OVERSIGHT: Cities and states often have authority but lack the resources and political will to enforce environmental regulations that the federal government has eased enforcement of during the pandemic. (Energy News Network)

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COAL:
• Two Indiana utilities face heightened scrutiny from state regulators over the use of power plant self-scheduling, in which uneconomic coal plants run despite higher costs to customers. (Utility Dive)
• A U.S. Supreme Court decision on wastewater discharges could have wide-reaching impacts on coal ash storage waste, environmental groups say. (Bloomberg Law)

UTILITIES:
• Xcel Energy plans to reduce rates by $25 million this summer due to low fuel costs. (Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal)
• Michigan regulators open a case to oversee utility shut offs and spending plans as energy demand drops 15-20% during the pandemic. (MiBiz)

EMISSIONS:
• Illinois researchers say while the pandemic has slowed greenhouse gas emissions, longer-term solutions are needed to ensure climate benefits. (State Journal-Register)
• Meeting climate change targets “would require a drop of this magnitude to occur every year for the next several decades,” a Wisconsin atmospheric scientist says. (Wisconsin Public Radio)

CLEAN ENERGY: A Minneapolis suburb approves a $7.1 million contract for energy efficiency upgrades and solar installations at public facilities. (Press & News)

GRID: National lab researchers are working on a “value of resilience” to help state regulators measure utility grid investments. (Utility Dive)

SOLAR: An Iowa solar manufacturer produces medical face shields as normal business drops off. (WOI-TV)

INFRASTRUCTURE: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ halting of a wetland permit program for new oil and gas pipelines could tie up construction for months on a range of energy-related projects. (E&E News, subscription)

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BIOFUELS: Reduced ethanol production due to the coronavirus pandemic is hurting corn growers who are planting new crops with no market to sell it to. (WHO-TV)

COMMENTARY: A Michigan nurse and clean air advocate notes that poor air quality disproportionately impacts communities of color, and “it has never been more important to move to clean, renewable energy and electric vehicles.” (Michigan Advance)

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