Daily digest

Minnesota regulators approve utility plan to retire units at major coal plant

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UTILITIES: Minnesota regulators approve Xcel Energy’s plan to retire units at a large coal plant by 2026, asking it to pursue renewables and rejecting plans for a natural gas plant to replace some of the generation. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

SOLAR: A new mapping tool that shows areas in Chicago suitable for community solar installations is sparking interest among area planners. (Midwest Energy News)

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COAL:
• Questions remain over what will happen to a Kansas coal plant if regulators approve a planned $12 billion utility acquisition. (Lawrence Journal-World)
• Electric-sector coal consumption in 2016 is projected to be the lowest annual total since 1984, analysts say. (Platts)

CLIMATE:
• Scientists warn of the “moral hazard” surrounding atmospheric carbon removal and say it could delay critical cuts to emissions while “tacitly giving people license to pollute.” (Climate Central)
• Major fossil fuel companies rank poorly in taking responsibility for their greenhouse gas emissions and moving effectively to confront climate change. (InsideClimate News)

RENEWABLES: All of the new electricity capacity brought online in the U.S. in August came from wind and solar. (SNL / Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis)

ELECTRIC CHOICE: Michigan school districts say proposed energy legislation that restricts the customer choice market could cost them $17 million. (WWMT-TV)

PIPELINES:
• Celebrities rally in support of a documentary filmmaker who was arrested while filming protesters who shut down oil pipelines from Canada to the United States. (Reuters)
• Two federal agencies are at odds over the depth and need for federal climate reviews related to a proposed natural gas pipeline through Ohio. (Greenwire)

BIOFUELS: Co-owners of an Indiana biodiesel plant plead guilty to defrauding the federal renewable fuels and tax credit program. (Reuters)

OIL AND GAS:
• A malfunction at a natural gas well in North Dakota caused a gas leak for roughly nine hours before it was stabilized. (Forum News Service)
Oil production in North Dakota drops below 1 million barrels per day for the first time since April 2014. (Associated Press)

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POLITICS: A conservative nonprofit group will spend $1 million in the next few weeks to help elect Republicans who support clean energy. (Reuters)

COMMENTARY:
• Democracy Now! anchorwoman Amy Goodman was “clearly acting as a reporter” while documenting protests of the Dakota Access pipeline and charges against her should be dropped. (Rolling Stone)
• “Policy uncertainty is the reason Illinois has such a small solar industry and a lot of potential.” (Chicago Tribune)

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