Daily digest

Midwest states subject to tougher downwind emission rules

WIND:
• Developers of a transmission line aimed at moving wind power from western Iowa to Illinois and points east have hit a stalemate with opposed landowners. (Midwest Energy News)
North Dakota regulators will likely approve a new 100-megawatt wind project there, but federal officials want a deeper study on potential impacts on bald eagles. (Associated Press)

OIL AND GAS: Researchers are just beginning to explore the ecosystems that exist in layers of shale rock beneath the surface, and whether they’re being destroyed by, or helping develop, oil and gas exploration. (Midwest Energy News)

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UTILITIES:
• Speculation grows about whether two Ohio utilities are close to a settlement with state regulators over profit guarantees for struggling power plants. (Columbus Dispatch)
After receiving permission for an 83 percent fixed-fee increase on customers last year, a Wisconsin utility is back for more. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

EMISSIONS: Multiple Midwest states would be subjected to tougher federal rules over smokestack emissions that burden downwind areas. (Associated Press)

SOLAR:
• Environmental groups in Missouri drop their lawsuit against state regulators that alleged solar rebates for customers were being undervalued. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
Observers say one southern Minnesota community is leading the state’s renaissance in new solar construction. Meanwhile, a new 3-megawatt project is planned farther west. (Northfield News, Mankato Free Press)

ETHANOL:
• Despite the drop in gasoline prices, most Minnesota ethanol producers are still turning a profit. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
A train carrying ethanol that derailed in Wisconsin earlier this month was not subject to federal speed limits. (Tribune News Service)

COAL: A recent election in an Indiana town has left the fate of an aging coal-fired plant there hanging in the balance. (WLFI-TV)

RATES:
• Experts say time-of-use rates and crediting distributed solar customers at wholesale rather than retail rates can send important price signals to prevent peak demand spikes. (Utility Dive)
In Michigan, a recent appointee to the regulatory body that approves utility rates is a former utility lobbyist. (Michigan Radio)

LOW-INCOME ASSISTANCE: Tens of thousands of Iowa households receive utility disconnection notices this fall, but relief could come if they enroll in a government assistance program. (Radio Iowa)

CLIMATE: By voting Tuesday to block the Clean Power Plan, the U.S. Senate looks to send a message before President Obama negotiates a climate accord in Paris. (New York Times)

COMMENTARY:
• Solar projects can also benefit pollinators if native vegetation is planted around installations. (Midwest Energy News)
The head of DTE Energy says a Michigan energy package that tightens the electric choice market and sets a non-binding renewable goal is an “important step” to Michigan’s energy future. (Detroit News)

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