Daily digest

Ohio plan to subsidize aging coal plants ‘might not pass at all’

OHIO:
• A statewide budget bill advancing in Ohio includes an amendment that critics say is another attempt at a “bailout” for the state’s utilities, and another that would ease wind turbine setbacks. (Midwest Energy News)
• A Senate committee also rejects a request by Cuyahoga County to extend a power purchase agreement for wind and solar projects by 10 years. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

COAL: Uncertainty grows as a plan to subsidize two coal plants in Ohio and Indiana are no longer on a fast track and “might not pass at all.” (Columbus Dispatch)

UTILITIES: An effort is underway in a small Iowa city to create its own municipal utility, in part so the area can have more control over its access to renewable energy. (Midwest Energy News)

PIPELINES: The federal judge in a lawsuit over the Dakota Access pipeline says President Trump will not be added as a defendant in the case. (Associated Press)

EMISSIONS: Some Midwest states rank high nationally for total carbon dioxide emissions as well as average CO2 emission rates. (Bloomberg Markets)

CLIMATE: State budgetary moves in Wisconsin seek to give more control to the head of the Department of Natural Resources over climate change research, who would likely scale it back. (Wisconsin State Journal)

SOLAR: An Ohio town considers a solar project to offset its operating costs, while a Minnesota town considers a community solar subscription. (Hudson Hub Times, Northfield News)

BIOFUELS: Engineering researchers at the University of Illinois say in a new study that growing corn for food has a considerably larger economic benefit than using it for biofuel. (Phys.org)

HYDRO: Later this week, engineers will begin removing a former hydroelectric dam in northern Michigan that’s expected to alter river conditions at least temporarily. (Interlochen Public Radio)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Ann Arbor, Michigan is developing a plan to purchase electric vehicles for its city-owned fleet and charging them with solar energy. (MLive)
• Tesla says it is “actively talking” with other auto manufacturers about opening up the company’s Supercharger network to other cars. (BGR News)

TRANSPORTATION: Counties in the Twin Cities region of Minnesota are voting to set their own taxes to fund transit projects as a regional transportation board votes to dissolve itself. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

SMART METERS: AEP Ohio is seeking permission from state regulators to be able to remotely disconnect non-paying customers’ electricity as it deploys more smart meters. (Columbus Business First)

COMMENTARY:
• In opposing the financial “bailout” of two coal plants in Ohio and Indiana, analysts say the move could cost ratepayers $1.4 billion above the cost of market power to keep the plants open until 2030, and that national security concerns are a “red herring.” (Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis)
• The Cleveland Plain Dealer says a vote to ease Ohio’s wind turbine setback requirements is a “vote for Ohio’s future.”
• Minnesota advocates say a plan to expand an Enbridge pipeline is too great of a risk as the state works to improve overall water quality. (MinnPost)

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