Midwest Energy News

Ohio subsidy referendum effort dealt setback by judge

Correction: A report projecting that replacing coal with natural gas would be a more expensive option for Indiana ratepayers than renewables was commissioned by an energy policy advocacy group. An item in Wednesday’s newsletter misstated its source.

OHIO: A federal judge refuses to grant more time to gather petition signatures for an Ohio referendum on coal and nuclear plant bailouts, saying it is a constitutional question for the state Supreme Court. (Toledo Blade)

ALSO: Environmental groups say the subsidies wouldn’t be available for two coal plants based on the law’s language. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

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FINANCE: A group of Minnesota cooperatives use on-bill financing to help customers buy efficient appliances that shift electricity consumption to overnight hours when power is cheaper for the utility. (Energy News Network)

POLICY:
Environmental advocates say the closing of four Illinois coal plants and a coal mine brings urgency to clean energy legislation that would create new programs to help coal workers and communities. (WCBU)
• Michigan’s two largest utilities push back on proposed legislation that would eliminate caps on participating in net metering programs and establish a fair value of solar. (Utility Dive)

COAL: Regulated utilities’ use of self-scheduling to run coal plants when market prices drop cost ratepayers $3.5 billion between 2015 and 2017, according to a report released by the Sierra Club. (Utility Dive)

BIOFUELS:
• Documents show a last-minute dispute between the U.S. EPA and USDA over the administration’s new plan for biofuel blending requirements. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)
• Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds says she will lobby the EPA to amend the proposal that she says favors refiners over farmers and ethanol producers. (Radio Iowa)
• A coalition of biofuel industry groups file suit against the Trump administration’s decision to exempt 31 small refiners from biofuel blending requirements, saying it was done in secret. (E&E News, subscription)

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CLIMATE: A Minnesota congressman will hold a public forum on climate change this weekend near Minneapolis. (Eden Prairie News)

COMMENTARY: An Ohio editorial board says state lawmakers have prioritized utility interests over voters, leading to power plant subsidies and “outright hostility” toward renewable energy. (Columbus Dispatch)

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