Daily digest

Michigan energy bills may be in jeopardy as Republicans disagree over electric choice

NUCLEAR: The operator of Michigan’s Palisades nuclear plant along Lake Michigan seeks to close the facility in 2018, a decision earlier than expected after reaching a deal to cut short a power-purchase agreement. (Midwest Energy News)

ELECTRIC CHOICE: Republican infighting over proposed changes to Michigan’s electric choice market may jeopardize the chances of passing comprehensive energy legislation there. (Detroit News)

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ILLINOIS: The state’s solar industry emerged as a clear winner in major legislation signed Wednesday by Gov. Bruce Rauner, and there is still more work to come on tightening inconsistencies and settling provisions through state regulators. (Associated Press, Midwest Energy News)

OHIO:
• Legislation passed by the state House this week that weakens clean energy standards also includes a “giveaway” to utilities that allows them to get so-called shared savings for decreases in energy usage in prior years. (Midwest Energy News)
• State lawmakers could vote as early as today on the legislation. (Public News Service)

REGULATION: President-elect Donald Trump selects Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt — a climate change denier “close ally” to the fossil fuel industry —  to lead the U.S. EPA. (New York Times)

RENEWABLES: Rising corporate demand for renewable energy is helping to “reassure a skittish industry” for those concerned about the direction President-elect Trump may take energy policy. (SNL)

SOLAR:
• Local officials in Iowa unveil two new solar projects at county-owned buildings. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)
• “Plug and play” solar modules could be a smaller, affordable and portable option for getting electricity compared to panels. (Houghton Daily Mining Gazette)

PIPELINES:
• The Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council chairman says diverting the Dakota Access project off of treaty lands would be acceptable, though the bigger issue is about climate change. (Minnesota Public Radio)
• The Dakota Access pipeline developer continues to fight state regulators over a $15,000 fine for working on land with tribal artifacts without first notifying officials. (Associated Press)

UTILITIES: Ohio regulators rule that “submetering” companies that resell utilities to apartments and condos can be regulated, a notable shift from before. (Columbus Dispatch)

COAL:
• U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio says of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s opposition to a long-term plan for retired coal miner benefits: “I don’t get it.” (USA Today)
• Coal is projected to have a larger share of the generation mix this winter than natural gas, though the trend is not expected to last beyond the coldest months. (Utility Dive)

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TRANSITION: A memo showing the Trump administration’s energy agenda “reads like a fossil fuel industry wish list.” (DeSmog Blog)

COMMENTARY: Illinois’ energy bill “might be the most significant state energy legislation passed in the U.S. in decades.” (Vox)

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