Daily digest

North Dakota coal is ‘under heavy pressure’ from wind energy

COAL: Lignite coal production in North Dakota is “under heavy pressure” from the growing amount of wind projects being developed. (SNL)

CLIMATE: A new report says that — like Exxon Mobil — major utilities across the U.S. knew about the threats of climate change for decades but joined in casting doubt on the science behind it. (InsideClimate News)

SOLAR:
• While a relatively large generator of solar power, Minnesota is not expected to see a significant decline in output during next month’s solar eclipse. (WCCO)
• Missouri-based SunEdison is approved for a bankruptcy plan “that will leave what was once the world’s largest renewable energy firm as a shell of its former self.” (Bloomberg)

WIND:
• As more Nebraska wind projects come online, local opposition grows. (Nebraska Radio Network)
• A South Dakota county will revisit wind energy ordinances and consider larger setbacks for turbines after opposition from some residents. (Associated Press)

NUCLEAR:
• Another federal judge upholds a state’s zero-emissions credits program to support struggling nuclear plants, this time in New York. (Reuters)
• Opponents of nuclear subsidies in Illinois are appealing a judge’s ruling that allows the state’s plan to move forward. (Illinois Radio Network)
• Creating an industry around nuclear energy is one idea being floated by planners to boost Nebraska’s population. (Lincoln Journal Star)

OIL BY RAIL: A U.S. senator from Nebraska who has received strong support from rail companies is pushing legislation that moves to a more self-regulatory approach to the industry. (DeSmog Blog)

CLEAN ENERGY: Conferences being held in southern Illinois are focused on the job-creation potential of a new statewide clean energy law that took effect last month. (Southern Illinoisan)

OIL AND GAS:
• Residents address the pros and cons of constructing a second 940-megawatt gas plant in a northeast Ohio town. (Youngstown Vindicator)
• A coalition of 350 groups are urging federal lawmakers to withdraw support for major energy legislation the groups say increases U.S. dependence on fracking. (Mother Jones)

PIPELINES: TransCanada is stepping up its lobbying efforts to build support for the Keystone XL pipeline. (DeSmog Blog)

DIVESTMENT: A Wisconsin college is divesting more than $800,000 from fossil fuels as part of its endowment portfolio. (Wisconsin Public Radio)

VOLKSWAGEN SCANDAL: The chief of Volkswagen’s environmental and engineering center in Michigan plans to plead guilty next week after being charged with 11 felonies for his role in the emissions cheating scandal. (Reuters)

COMMENTARY:
• The Chicago Tribune says the U.S. EPA is failing stop ongoing air pollution in a northwest Indiana city.
• “Minnesotans are already paying real dollars for climate change,” so state regulators need to revisit how those costs are factored into energy investments. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

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