Daily digest

Minnesota official says state has ‘lost leadership’ on climate

SOLAR: Minnesota regulators adopt a “value of solar” approach to community solar rates, though developers are still concerned over project size caps. (Midwest Energy News)

ALSO:
• A major credit rating agency renews warnings that inaction on solar net metering policies could lead to a “death spiral” for utilities. (SNL / Utility Dive)
• An Ohio school district unveils a new solar installation that aims to provide 12 percent of the schools’ energy needs. (Youngstown Vindicator)
• While 2016 is expected to be a big year for solar development in Minnesota, a new report still ranks the state 33rd in cumulative solar capacity per capita. (Minnesota Public Radio)

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CLIMATE:
• Three Midwest attorneys general say the investigation into whether Exxon Mobil misled investors on climate change is a “grave mistake” and an attempt to “police the global warming debate.” (Midwest Energy News)
• Minnesota’s lieutenant governor says the state should regain its position as a leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions: “We have lost that leadership.” (Minnesota Public Radio)
• Republican delegates are split on climate change and humans’ role in causing it. (ClimateWire)

OIL BY RAIL:
• A rail industry lobbying group seeks to extend the use of the type of rail cars involved in a recent accident in Oregon beyond 2025. (DeSmog Blog)
• Rail industry advocates in North Dakota are concerned that a proposal to fine rail cars in Washington state due to potential risk could set a “dangerous precedent.” (Bismarck Tribune)

WIND:
• Cuyahoga County in Ohio wants to buy a portion of the output from a planned offshore wind project in Lake Erie for the next 20 years. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
• A new study says Illinois’ top 25 wind projects generate $30.4 million in annual property taxes and nearly $14 million in extra income annually for landowners who lease land to developers. (Bloomington Pantagraph)

SUSTAINABILITY: Ohio University receives a sustainability award for its efforts on increasing energy efficiency and transitioning off of coal. (Jackson County Times-Journal)

COAL:
• A North Dakota regulator blames wind energy for the pending shutdown of the state’s oldest coal plant. (Grand Forks Herald)
Coal plant closures in Michigan are the “beginning of the end of an era.” (Michigan Radio)
• A judge allows Peabody Energy to pay back nearly $30 million in taxes it owes in multiple states, including Indiana, as the company moves through bankruptcy. (Associated Press)

COMMENTARY:
• In response to DTE Energy, the president and CEO of a nonprofit pushing for a public utility in Washington D.C. argues for deregulation. (Utility Dive)
• A Consumers Energy official says out-of-state energy companies are not positioned to invest in new generation in Michigan and contribute to the state’s electric reliability. (Detroit News)
• In Illinois, Commonwealth Edison and Ameren are a “tale of two utilities” in embracing the future. (Environmental Defense Fund)

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