Daily digest

Michigan governor taps former BP lobbyist to lead environmental agency

PIPELINES: Groups that have been closely involved with Michigan’s inquiry into the safety and alternatives to Enbridge’s Line 5 say the process is moving too slowly and continues to favor the company. (Midwest Energy News)

REGULATION:
• Advocates criticize Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder for appointing a former BP lobbyist to lead the state Department of Environmental Quality. (Detroit Free Press)
• The chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio says he is eager to resolve issues around income-guarantee requests for AEP and FirstEnergy. (Columbus Dispatch)

*** SPONSORED LINK: Illinois Renewable Energy Conference, July 21st in Normal, Illinois, will feature plenary sessions of interest to all areas of renewable energy, plus specific breakout sessions for wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, and energy efficiency.***

SOLAR:
• Under a new owner, construction begins on a 100-megawatt solar project in Minnesota, which is expected to be the largest in the Midwest. (PV Tech)
• Residents in southeast Wisconsin are increasingly interested in group-buying programs to help lower the costs of solar. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
• Agreement within the utility industry on how to further democratize distributed energy “appears elusive.” (Utility Dive)
• The Indiana Supreme Court declines to rehear a case that sought emails between lawmakers and lobbyists over legislation to cut payments to rooftop solar generators. (Associated Press)

COAL:
• A retail electric supply trade group and grid operator PJM express opposition to an Ohio utility’s request for additional charges to support “at-risk” coal plants. (Platts)
• Illinois Basin coal is making up a greater share of overall coal loadings on the U.S. rail system. (Platts)

WIND: Minnesota regulators grant a two-year extension for a company to build a 105-megawatt wind project. (ReNews)

POLITICS: Democrats will be asked to endorse an official party platform that calls for putting a price on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions, but which stops short of explicitly calling for a carbon tax. (InsideClimate News)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Sales of electric vehicles have been increasing in recent months despite low gasoline prices. (ClimateWire)

***SPONSORED LINK: Now Open: Midwest Energy News 40 Under 40 award program seeks young leaders working to transition Midwest to clean energy. Make your nomination today! ***

OIL AND GAS: Local officials in Williston, North Dakota will draft a new policy seeking to eliminate oil crew camps within city limits. (Williston Herald)

COMMENTARY: Officials in Ohio and Pennsylvania should consider the health effects of pollution from the states’ power plants, which a new report says were responsible for thousands of premature deaths last year. (Grist)

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