NOTE TO READERS: Midwest Energy News is taking a break for the holidays. We’ll return on Monday, January 4.

YEAR IN REVIEW: Major Midwest energy storylines in 2015 include “bailout” proposals in Ohio, the emergence of fixed charge increases and Republican groups supporting clean energy. Plus, Midwest Energy News‘ most-read stories of the year. (Midwest Energy News)

SOLAR: The extension of federal tax credits removes a “drop dead date” for community solar projects in Minnesota that were scrambling to build out without an extension. (Midwest Energy News)

***SPONSORED LINK: Rocky Mountain Institute’s e-Lab Accelerator is calling on America’s most innovative teams at the forefront of the electricity transformation looking to take projects to the next level. See if your project is eligible for this invitation-only event April 24—27. ***

• Michigan officials say the state is already on track to meet emission goals under the Clean Power Plan until 2025. (Associated Press)
The nation’s largest cities are stepping up in defense of the federal rules in court. (Associated Press)

EMISSIONS: Environmental groups want policymakers to rethink the role methane emissions play in contributing to climate change, which could make natural gas a less attractive fuel source into the future. (ClimateWire)

RESEARCH: An alumni group provides a $3.5 million grant to keep an energy research institute open at the University of Wisconsin. (Wisconsin State Journal)

COAL: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the coal industry prepare for a “last stand” against the forces of shale gas, renewables and new regulations. (Bloomberg)

• The Sierra Club says a public hearing last week in Iowa on a pipeline project was a “debacle” and is calling for another forum for public comment. (Des Moines Register)
South Dakota regulators deny requests to throw out the Keystone XL project and could decide again next month whether to allow it to pass through the state should it be revived in the future. (Associated Press)

NUCLEAR: Federal regulators say Xcel Energy will take corrective measures to address improper testing at a Minnesota nuclear plant. (Associated Press)

• An industry analyst says Ohio will likely have a strong drilling rebound once prices recover. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
One expert says 2015 “was really a monumental year for both litigation and regulatory action” in the oil and gas industry. (EnergyWire)

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COMMENTARY: Preventing cyberattacks against the grid should be a top priority for utility and government officials. (Columbus Dispatch)

CORRECTION: An item in Tuesday’s digest should have said BP is now sending petcoke from a refinery near Chicago to Kentucky and Virginia.

Andy Balaskovitz

Andy Balaskovitz

Andy has been a journalism fellow for Midwest Energy News since 2014, following four years at City Pulse, Lansing’s alt-weekly newspaper. He covers the state of Michigan and also compiles the Midwest Energy News daily email digest. Andy is a graduate of Michigan State University’s Journalism School, where he focused on topics covered by the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism and wrote for the Great Lakes Echo. He was the 2008 and 2009 recipient of the Edward Meeman Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Environmental Journalism at Michigan State.

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