Midwest Energy News

Iowa utility to eliminate coal ash storage sites

UTILITIES: Most Ohio utilities say they are not ready to pass savings from federal tax reforms on to customers. (Midwest Energy News)

COAL ASH:
• The U.S. EPA proposes changing coal ash regulations to give states more flexibility over disposal sites and save utilities millions of dollars in compliance costs. (Reuters)
• Iowa-based MidAmerican Energy intends to eliminate ash storage sites at its coal-fired power plants. (Sioux City Journal)

***SPONSORED LINK: Why register for the CERTs Conference? “The CERTs Conference is a powerful forum for any person or organization that wants to participate in both the state and local energy dialogue.” — Yusef Orest, Arrowhead Electric Coop. Registration ends Monday, March 19!***

CLEAN ENERGY: Advocates say Michigan’s standby rates, which independent generators pay utilities to provide backup power, are too high and often unnecessary. (Michigan Radio)

WIND:
• Wind energy, even without subsidies, is now cheaper in Minnesota than natural gas and coal. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
• A 43-turbine wind project in southwestern North Dakota will add 16 turbines as part of an $85 million expansion. (Forum News Service)

CLIMATE:
• WEC Energy Group and CMS Energy agree to disclose climate change risks after pressure from faith-based shareholder activists. (ThinkProgress)
• City officials in Lansing, Michigan, will develop a climate action plan this year after efforts in 2017 “fell through the cracks.” (Lansing State Journal)
• A climate change activist files to run for a seat on the Nebraska Public Service Commission. (Lincoln Journal Star)

PIPELINES: A report by congressional Republicans says Russian internet trolls ran a social media campaign targeting U.S. pipeline projects, including Keystone XL and Dakota Access. (Politico, Minnesota Public Radio)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• In addition to adding EV charging stations, a plan by Ameren Missouri offers incentives for commercial customers transitioning to electric equipment. (eMissourian.com)
• Michigan automakers and utilities say that as coal plants are retired, electric vehicles will be responsible for fewer emissions compared to gasoline-powered cars. (WDET)

SMART METERS: A proposed bill in Michigan would ban utilities from charging additional fees to homeowners who don’t want smart meters. (WJRT)

BIOFUELS: President Trump pushes a deal between the rival oil and corn industries that would expand the ethanol market and lower costs for refiners. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

GRID:
• Opposition from landowners against large-scale transmission projects appears to be mounting in Wisconsin. (Isthmus)
• Opponents of proposed high-voltage transmission projects in southern Wisconsin meet today to present alternatives. (La Crosse Tribune)

COMMENTARY:
• Nebraska lawmakers should reject efforts to change state law to allow public utilities to withhold financial information from the public, the Omaha World-Herald writes.
• The St. Louis Regional Chamber of Commerce backs statewide legislation calling for grid infrastructure investments. (St. Louis Business Journal)
• U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa writes in an op-ed to oil-rich Texas that biofuels are a key part of the national energy strategy. (Houston Chronicle)

MORE FROM THE ENERGY NEWS NETWORK: A former National Renewable Energy Laboratory official will put his research to “real world” use as the new president and CEO of an electric cooperative in western Colorado. (Southwest Energy News)

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