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)

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)

• 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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