Daily digest

Ohio lawmakers urgently seek further suspension of clean energy standards

OHIO: State lawmakers aim for “quick passage” of a bill to suspend renewable and efficiency standards indefinitely, hoping to get it done before the end of the year. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

CLEAN TECH: A labor union-backed training center in Illinois that has been around for a century has an increased focus on training workers in clean energy technology. (Midwest Energy News)

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OIL BY RAIL: Following new federal regulations last year on unsafe oil tank cars, only 225 of roughly 110,000 tank cars have been retrofitted, despite public assurances suggesting otherwise. (DeSmog Blog)

WIND: Iowa’s growing dependence on wind signifies a broader shift across the Midwest to cleaner energy. (EnergyWire)

COAL: An Illinois Democrat plans to introduce legislation today meant to be an “innovative investment” in the state’s struggling coal industry. (Carbondale Southern Illinoisan)

MICHIGAN: Federal regulators reject challenges from a variety of entities in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula against cost allocations planned to keep three power plants open there. (RTO Insider)

SOLAR:
• Chicago-based ComEd pursues demand charges for residential customers, which would be a “novel” proposal in the Midwest. (Utility Dive)
• A township southwest of Chicago considers allowing a solar project to be developed on a 56-acre farm. (Daily Southtown)

UTILITIES:
• Business and ratepayer advocates protest recent bill charges added by Ohio utility AEP. (Columbus Dispatch)
Andre Porter, the former chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, will be replaced by Asim Haque, who is “seen as a wonkish commissioner” and one willing to lead research on the Clean Power Plan. (Columbus Business First)

OIL AND GAS: Questions remain about the extent of groundwater and soil contamination in a national forest in Michigan decades after an oil pipeline spill there. (Detroit Free Press)

NUCLEAR: A federal plan to do exploratory drilling on the feasibility of storing nuclear waste continues to run into fierce opposition in South Dakota. (Bismarck Tribune)

STORAGE: Illinois-based construction and mining manufacturer Caterpillar enters the microgrid market with new products that combine solar and storage with its power-generation equipment. (Utility Dive)

FRAC SAND: Opponents from Minnesota and Wisconsin call for a ban on frac sand mining ahead of an industry event. (LaCrosse Tribune)

GRID:
• A new report by PJM says state policies — such as those passed for two utilities in Ohio — that affect wholesale power markets can limit the effectiveness of deregulated markets. (RTO Insider)
MISO considers changes to its forward capacity auction for southern Illinois after recent opposition from stakeholders over the process. (RTO Insider)

COMMENTARY: A Minnesota utility looks to “retain sole, monopolistic control” over how community solar projects are developed within its territory. (Duluth News Tribune)

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