Daily digest

Lawmakers in Ohio, Indiana advance bills to weaken clean energy policies

CLEAN ENERGY: An Ohio House committee advances a bill to weaken the state’s clean energy standards, moving to the full House for an expected debate today. (Columbus Dispatch)

SOLAR:
• The national solar company Sunrun launched a new operation in Wisconsin this week, saying there is a stable and promising environment for solar there. (Midwest Energy News)
• Advocates say the Made in Minnesota solar incentive program’s record year for participation in 2017  counters Republicans’ narrative that the program isn’t working. (Midwest Energy News)
• An Indiana bill to eliminate net metering advances, moving to the full House for consideration. (Indianapolis Star)

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CLEAN POWER PLAN: The U.S. Justice Department is taking swift action to implement President Trump’s order on the Clean Power Plan, including lifting the moratorium on new coal mines and asking courts to suspend long-running disputes over power plant rules. (Climate Central)

STORAGE:
• Illinois and Ohio are among the top five states with the greatest amount of energy storage projects planned. (Greentech Media)
• The National Renewable Energy Laboratory issues a detailed cost analysis on residential solar-plus-storage systems. (Phys.org)

COAL:
• North Dakota’s coal industry may see short-term benefits from President Trump’s executive order this week, but critics say looser climate regulations will negatively impact the Upper Midwest’s environment. (Forum News Service)
• An Ohio municipal utility looks to keep a 109-year-old coal plant operating “for many more years.” (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
• Illinois coal production may increase slightly over time, but it is unlikely to return to previous levels under President Trump’s order. (McClatchy, Springfield State Journal-Register)

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OIL AND GAS:
• Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke authorizes a two-year review looking at whether energy companies should pay higher royalties for oil and gas extracted from public land. (Bloomberg)
• The Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation is seeking a greater share of oil tax revenue after North Dakota legislators made changes to the tax in 2015. (Forum News Service)

COMMENTARY:
• A Midwest-based energy efficiency advocate says federal policymakers would be wise to recognize the economic benefits of the sector as Republican majorities have already done in the region. (Midwest Energy News)
• An Indiana editorial board says Trump’s order will “at least slow the decline of coal, and let its death be the result of natural economic forces.” (Fort Wayne News-Sentinel)
• Energy analysts dispute Trump’s coal job claims, saying the sector will see continued decreases in production, weak exports and dim employment prospects. (Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis)
• The president of the Ohio Coal Association maintains that while the economics of natural gas is a challenge, Obama-era regulations are the leading culprit of the industry’s decline. (Salem News)

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