Daily digest

Minnesota refinery to spend $750M on reducing emissions

TRANSPORTATION:
• Critics say a highway project in southern Ohio is unnecessary and a waste of taxpayer money while supporters say it’s needed to drive development in a rural community. (Midwest Energy News)
President Obama will propose a $10-per-barrel fee on oil to raise billions per year for clean transportation projects. (Washington Post)

EMISSIONS: A Minnesota oil refinery plans to spend $750 million to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and improve energy efficiency. (Minnesota Public Radio)

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OHIO: A group of independent power producers have launched a TV and radio ad campaign criticizing AEP’s and FirstEnergy’s income-guarantee requests. (Columbus Business First)

CLEAN POWER PLAN:
• Midwest Energy News reporter Kathiann M. Kowalski joins experts to discuss the federal rules’ impact on Ohio. (WOSU Radio)
The United States transition from coal to natural gas and renewables is happening at a faster rate than envisioned under the Clean Power Plan, according to a new report. (Washington Post)

SOLAR:
• One large solar project moves forward in Minnesota while another is delayed for further study on whether it complies with state rules to preserve farmland. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
Urbana, Illinois is nearing its goal of 100 kilowatts of solar installations in the area. (WAND-TV)
DTE Energy has three new utility-owned solar projects operating in Detroit and eastern Michigan. (Associated Press)

CARBON CAPTURE: An unlikely coalition of environmental groups and coal interests push Congress to extend tax incentives for carbon sequestration projects. (E&E Daily)

COAL: A St. Louis-based coal company will extend debt restructuring negotiations with its creditors who own about $600 million of its unsecured bonds. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

FRAC SAND: A slowdown in Wisconsin’s frac sand industry isn’t hurting the outlook for expanded natural gas lines, WEC Energy Group’s CEO says. (Milwaukee Business Journal)

SOLAR: A clean-energy venture capitalist and former Greenpeace operative hopes solar companies will unseat oil and gas companies that dominate the energy market. (EnergyWire)

UTILITIES: WEC Energy Group’s earnings rise 48 percent at the end of 2015 following a large merger deal earlier in the year. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

RENEWABLES: The U.S. EIA projects utility-scale renewable projects will supply 14 percent of U.S. electricity this year. (Utility Dive)

*** SPONSORED LINK: Solar Powering Iowa, March 23-24 in Cedar Rapids will be packed with an energizing mix of trainings, keynotes, breakout sessions, and networking. Register now for earlybird rates! Presented by MREA, ISETA, CRA, ELPC, and GPI.***

RATES: Ameren Missouri’s largest electric customer is facing financial troubles, which could likely impact the rates for the utility’s other customers. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

CONGRESS: Senate Democrats block action on a comprehensive energy bill following a dispute over federal aid for the Flint, Michigan water crisis. (New York Times)

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