Daily digest

Minnesota regulators approve early coal plant closures

SOLAR: Minnesota’s Public Utilities Commission rejects the practice by rural electric cooperatives to apply fixed charges on solar installations without regulatory approval. (Midwest Energy News)

ALSO:
• Consumers Energy unveils a 3-megawatt solar project in western Michigan. (MLive)
• A northern Minnesota town embraces solar energy for sustainability. (MinnPost)

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CLIMATE: An analysis of court documents finds Peabody Energy has funded at least two dozen groups that spread misinformation about climate change and oppose environmental regulations. (Guardian)

COAL:
• A Duluth-based utility plans coal-plant closures. (Minnesota Public Radio)
• “Once gradual, the decline in coal mining appears to be picking up momentum.” (New York Times)

NUCLEAR: Local officials in South Dakota oppose exploratory drilling for nuclear waste storage. (Associated Press)

POLITICS: Southeast Ohio is becoming a battleground area in a U.S. Senate race. (Dayton Daily News)

OIL BY RAIL: Despite production declines, millions of gallons of volatile Bakken crude oil are still being shipped by rail. (LaCrosse Tribune)

POLLUTION: More than 50 Michigan scientists sign a letter requesting Attorney General Bill Schuette drop his fight against the U.S. EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. (Michigan Radio)

POLICY: Business interests are still withholding support for proposed energy reform legislation in Michigan. (MiBiz)

WIND: A buoy in Lake Erie to gather information for proposed wind farms is also providing fishermen and scientists with valuable data. (Associated Press)

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UTILITIES:
• Michigan regulators fine Consumers Energy more than $500,000 for improperly billing customers. (Associated Press)
• A Nebraska utility refuses to disclose details about its costs for generating electricity. (Lincoln Journal Star)

COMMENTARY:
• Will coal companies be able to walk away from their promises to clean up mining sites? (Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis)
• Proposed net metering changes in Michigan is “clearly targeted at residential and small business energy producers.” (Traverse City Record-Eagle)

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