Daily digest

Minnesota lags on statewide greenhouse gas emission reduction goals

COAL ASH: Under “self-implementing” federal regulations, concerned citizens and advocacy groups in Illinois are left to oversee potentially hazardous coal ash impoundments. (Midwest Energy News)

EMISSIONS: While Minnesota’s electricity-sector greenhouse gas emissions are on track to meet reduction goals from a 2007 law, the state’s transportation, agriculture and industrial sectors are lagging. (Minnesota Public Radio)

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INDIANA: As a new administration takes office, environmental groups hope to revive various statewide clean energy programs. (NUVO)

PIPELINES:
• Tensions have increased between Dakota Access protesters and police with clashes and arrests as Donald Trump is set to take office. (Reuters)
• A group of about two dozen North Dakota landowners is suing the Dakota Access pipeline developer for alleged deceit and fraud in acquiring land easements, seeking $4 million in damages. (Associated Press)
• Nearby tribal residents have formally asked Dakota Access protesters to leave and not set up an extended winter camp. (Bismarck Tribune)

SOLAR:
• Developers and utilities pick apart different strategies for deploying community solar as programs grow across the country. (Utility Dive)
• Local interest from residents builds in a mid-Michigan community solar project. (WKAR)
• A grant program looks to boost a community solar program for low-income residents in Minnesota. (Echo Journal)

COAL: An Illinois congressman will lead the charge to roll back federal coal regulations in an effort to help the southern part of the state. (Alton Daily News)

UTILITIES:
• Peabody Energy shareholders could be left with “worthless stock” following a recent judge’s decision during bankruptcy proceedings. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
• Ohio-based FirstEnergy is selling four natural gas plants in Pennsylvania and part of a hydroelectric facility in Virginia for $925 million. (Pittsburgh Business Times)

VOLKSWAGEN SCANDAL: A northern Minnesota business is accepting hundreds of cars being returned as part of the recall related to Volkswagen’s emissions-cheating scandal, concerning neighbors. (WCCO-TV)

COMMENTARY: With a bill allowing a major natural gas plant to built without regulatory approval, Minnesota lawmakers “seem ready to knock the legs out from under its own electric utility regulator,” leaving the integrity of the process at stake. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

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