Daily digest

Iowa lawmakers advance bill that could block wind transmission project

OHIO: Opponents of the income-guarantee deals for FirstEnergy and AEP say they have multiple ways of challenging state regulators’ approval, including a rehearing and court appeals. (Midwest Energy News)

TRANSMISSION: Iowa lawmakers advance a bill that critics say would “change the rules” and halt development of the Rock Island Clean Line wind transmission project. (Radio Iowa)

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NUCLEAR: Some see the support for nuclear energy in Illinois by climate scientist James Hansen and other conservationists as a push for proposed legislation that would prop up Exelon’s struggling Illinois plants. (Midwest Energy News)

CLEAN JOBS: A new study says Rust Belt states including Ohio and Michigan could see 50,000 high-wage jobs being created annually through state-specific clean energy policy. (ClimateWire)

PIPELINES:
• The Keystone pipeline in South Dakota will likely remain shut down for the rest of the week while officials investigate what caused an apparent leak. (Associated Press)
• Company officials say the incident is “small in scope.” (Associated Press)
Advocates say the uncertainty surrounding the incident raises concerns about the company’s leak detection measures. (InsideClimate News)

NATURAL GAS: Ohio advocates plan to dive deeper into public sentiment about the benefits and risks of the state’s fracking industry as drilling declines. (Midwest Energy News)

SOLAR:
• Researchers say the next wave of solar development won’t be driven as much by state renewable portfolio standards. (Utility Dive)
A central Minnesota county plans to revisit local regulations for siting solar projects as opposition mounts. (St. Cloud Times)
A small Indiana utility launches a program to lease solar panels to its customers. (Greenfield Daily Reporter)

COAL: Nearly 15 gigawatts of coal generation was retired in 2015 to comply with federal pollution standards, and another 2 GW has been earmarked through 2020. (SNL / Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis)

BIOFUELS: Brazil emerges as a major buyer of corn-based ethanol produced in Iowa. (Houston Chronicle)

UTILITIES: Michigan-based Consumers Energy’s first female president says she is part of the growing diversity among the utility’s leadership. (MLive)

EFFICIENCY: A new industry report says the cost of energy efficiency is still much less than building a new power plant. (Utility Dive)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Electric car ownership is steadily increasing in Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois. (Telegraph Herald)

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RENEWABLES: After a variety of renewable energy technologies were accidentally omitted from the latest investment tax credit, federal lawmakers are discussing whether they should be continued. (E&E Daily)

COMMENTARY:
• Advocates hope Ohio Gov. John Kasich will address clean energy in his annual State of the State speech today. (NRDC Switchboard)
Marathon’s agreeing to lower sulfur dioxide emissions from its Detroit refinery after public pressure is a battle won in the ongoing war over the region’s air pollution. (Detroit Free Press)
The fizzling out of a “clean coal” project in Illinois may be a blessing in disguise. (News-Gazette)

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