Daily digest

Ohio lawmaker says AEP’s wind, solar commitment defies renewable freeze

OHIO:
• Environmental groups are divided over a proposed settlement agreement for American Electric Power’s income guarantees for power plants. (Midwest Energy News)
• A prominent state lawmaker says AEP’s proposal to install 900 megawatts of wind and solar as part of its income guarantee request is “a direct thumbing of the nose to a legislative decision” to freeze renewable standards in the state. (Columbus Dispatch)
Carolers protest outside of FirstEnergy’s headquarters in Ohio against its proposed “bailout” plan. (Akron Beacon Journal)

RENEWABLE TAX CREDITS:
• The House minority leader says she may not have enough votes for more than a two-year extension of tax credits for solar and wind energy. (Greentech Media)
Extending federal tax credits will have greater impact on some renewable sectors than on others. (New York Times)

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EFFICIENCY: A Minnesota entrepreneur lobbies the White House to focus more attention on energy efficiency as a key tactic in meeting emissions goals. (Midwest Energy News)

OIL AND GAS:
• A North Dakota lawsuit could open the doors for mineral rights owners to sue companies over flared natural gas. (Bismarck Tribune)
A plan to repeal the crude oil export ban has been in the works among some lawmakers for over a year. (E&E Daily)

COAL:
• Despite protests, an Illinois Wisconsin plant will continue burning coal indefinitely. (Chicago Tribune)
• An Ohio company receives federal funding for a coal demonstration plant that would produce fewer emissions. (Akron Beacon Journal)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: EPA opponents believe a federal court ruling on mercury emissions will bolster their case against the Clean Power Plan. (Greenwire)

SOLAR:
• Two neighboring landowners speak out against a planned 20 megawatt installation in Michigan. (Lansing State Journal)
• Experts say there is still plenty of room for the industry to grow by making technology more efficient and cheaper. (ClimateWire)

PIPELINES: Minnesota regulators resume the permitting process for the Sandpiper project, but also order an environmental review. (Forum News Service)

NUCLEAR: Officials are still unclear why a nuclear reactor in Minnesota automatically shut down. (Associated Press)

EMISSIONS: A Minnesota power plant completes an upgrade that will reduce mercury emissions by 90 percent. (Hometown Focus)

BATTERIES: A major energy storage company plans to buy 1 gigawatt’s worth of batteries to supply customers for grid storage. (Fortune)

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ETHANOL: A rail company says there have been no adverse environmental impacts following an ethanol train derailment in Wisconsin. (Associated Press)

COMMENTARY:
• 2015 was a “banner year for prudent, forward-thinking utility commissioners” who largely rejected fixed fee increases. (NRDC Switchboard)
Ohio has the manufacturing base to be a leader in wind energy production. (Huffington Post)

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