Daily digest

Minnesota officials pressure rail companies over transporting oil

Correction appended.

UTILITIES: A utility-backed advocacy group in Michigan has launched a new campaign on the urgency of coal-plant closures, which critics are calling “scare tactics.” (Midwest Energy News)

CLIMATE: Indiana scientists write to Gov. Mike Pence, the legislature and state officials offering to teach them the fundamentals of climate change. (Midwest Energy News)

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OIL BY RAIL:
• Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton tells BNSF he is “deeply concerned” about more oil trains being rerouted through downtown Minneapolis, putting an additional 99,000 people at risk. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
• Meanwhile, a Minnesota agency says disaster prevention and response plans submitted by five companies do not fully comply with state requirements. (Minnesota Public Radio)

LAWSUIT: Duke Energy settles a class-action lawsuit in Ohio for $81 million that alleged the utility’s subsidiary gave improper rebates to large industrial users. (Associated Press)

COAL: Minnesota and North Dakota do battle in federal court over a 2007 Minnesota law that regulates coal generation in North Dakota. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

SOLAR:
• A Missouri court sides with homeowners in a case involving their neighborhood association telling the couple to remove panels from their home. (Midwest Energy News)
A Minnesota power company says it is boosting its solar output to achieve a one-third renewables portfolio. (KQDS-TV)

EFFICIENCY: Illinois is among the most-improved for energy efficiency due to new policy changes, according to the latest annual survey of states. Missouri, meanwhile, is among the worst. (Midwest Energy News, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

WIND: A 100-megawatt project in North Dakota is on hold as state regulators seek more input on how it would affect bald eagles. (Bismarck Tribune)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: Some states face tougher compliance strategies than others with the final pollution rules compared to what was originally proposed. (ClimateWire)

EMISSIONS: A new “energy policy simulator” allows users to project future greenhouse gas emissions under various generation scenarios and policy changes. (Bloomberg)

POLLUTION: Advocates say new ozone limits may improve air quality in Michigan, but some areas still have a long way to go to meet the new rules. (Great Lakes Echo)

MARKETS: Energy experts say the U.S. Supreme Court is spending an unusual amount of time this term on energy issues as it tries to fit modern markets into old regulations. (Greenwire)

TRANSPORTATION: Ann Arbor, Michigan officials consider limiting vehicle idling in certain areas and banning the application of toxic road sealants. (MLive)

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NEBRASKA: A northeast Nebraska city shows off its commitment to renewable energy. (Sioux City Journal)

COMMENTARY:
• After facing criticism for drilling for natural gas to meet its energy needs, Ohio University is moving in the right direction by calling for 50 percent renewables. (The Post Athens)
Ohio regulators would be “doing its public a disservice” by approving proposals from FirstEnergy and AEP that shift risk from shareholders to ratepayers. (Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis)

An earlier version of this digest incorrectly identified Gov. Mark Dayton of Minnesota.

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