Daily digest

Key races in Ohio Valley went to candidates who showed strong support for coal

ELECTION: A Republican-held Congress and an opportunity to appoint one or more Supreme Court justices means Donald Trump is “poised to dramatically reshape energy and environmental policy.” (E&E Daily)

ALSO:
• Key races across Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia went to candidates who showed strong support for coal. (WKMS)
• Incumbent Republican Chris Nelson fended off Democratic challenger and clean energy supporter Henry Red Cloud to retain his seat on the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission. (KSFY)
• Votes were still being counted as of Wednesday morning for a major regional transportation project in the Detroit region, but support trails opposition. (Detroit Free Press)
• For the sixth time, voters in Youngstown, Ohio rejected a ballot initiative to ban fracking there. (Youngstown Vindicator)
• A closely watched congressional race in Minnesota goes to the Republican who did not share his opponent’s support for clean energy or concern for climate change. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

***SPONSORED LINK: MnSEIA Midwest Gateway to Solar, November 15-16 in Minneapolis, brings together leading solar industry practitioners to explore future market possibilities and challenges. Register today! ***

UTILITIES:
• FirstEnergy’s CEO says the utility will get out of the competitive electricity business unless Ohio and Pennsylvania return to regulated markets. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
• Recent securities filings show FirstEnergy is fighting a legal battle to show the U.S. EPA’s mercury emissions limits are a “force majeure event justifying termination of coal transportation and supply contracts.” (SNL / Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis)
• Nebraska utility officials say the power sector is “in the midst of tectonic-level shifts” and the state has great opportunity for wind and solar. (Lincoln Journal Star)
• A subsidiary of Florida-based NextEra Energy has stepped in to supply power to about 500,000 Ohio customers after FirstEnergy recently canceled a contract to do so. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

PIPELINES:
• The Dakota Access pipeline developer is not slowing down construction of the project through contentious parts of the route, even as federal regulators have not signaled that the line will be able to proceed. (Reuters)
• North Dakota regulators are proposing a $15,000 fine on the Dakota Access pipeline developer for not getting approval to continue construction after artifacts were found. (Associated Press)

CLIMATE: Donald Trump’s election raises questions about whether the U.S. will pull out of the Paris climate deal. (Associated Press)

STORAGE: There is currently no regulatory path for an Indiana utility to get paid for a 20-megawatt battery storage project that’s been operating since May. (Utility Dive)

OIL AND GAS:
• The owner of an oil refinery in Superior, Wisconsin looks to invest $30 million to make the facility more efficient. (Duluth News Tribune)
• Ohio’s Utica shale is bucking national trends of declining natural gas production. (Columbus Business First)

***SPONSORED LINK: Ohio’s Green Energy Future Conference, November 18 in Columbus, will focus on opportunities and barriers for forward-looking policy and financial strategies to develop the state’s solar and wind energy market in 2017 and beyond. Register today! ***

VOLKSWAGEN SCANDAL: Michigan officials seek information about projects to boost the use of zero-emission vehicles that would be funded by Volkswagen’s emissions settlement. (Detroit News)

COMMENTARY:
• Xcel Energy’s plan to transition to more clean energy should be a model for communities across the country. (MinnPost)
• With Republicans control in Congress, there are few limitations to Donald Trump’s halting efforts to combat climate change. (Grist)
• After recently canceling a contract that provides electricity to 500,000 Ohio customers, FirstEnergy’s “bad business decisions over the past decade are coming home now to roost.” (Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis)
• Don’t expect Donald Trump to move on promises like restoring coal jobs: “Once in office reality will set in and the fact that the president doesn’t determine energy markets will become abundantly clear and quickly.” (Forbes)

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