Daily digest

Pipeline rupture beneath Straits of Mackinac could cost up to $1 billion

PIPELINES: A spill from an oil pipeline beneath the Straits of Mackinac in Michigan could cost as much as $1 billion to clean up, according to state documents. (MLive)

CLIMATE: Hundreds of activists target a refinery near Chicago as part of a national day of protests targeting the fossil fuel industry. (Chicago Tribune)

POLITICS: A loophole for LLCs in Indiana’s campaign finance law enabled a firm tied to an Ohio coal company to donate $95,000 to Gov. Mike Pence. (Associated Press)

EFFICIENCY: A Minnesota utility’s program helps small municipalities engage citizens and businesses on energy efficiency. (Midwest Energy News)

OIL AND GAS:
• The EPA says new methane rules will increase wholesale natural gas costs less than 1 percent. (RTO Insider)
• March’s decline in oil production in North Dakota was lower than state officials had projected. (Platts)

WIND: An Ohio utility seeks proposals for 500 MW of new wind energy. (Columbus Business First)

SOLAR:
Wisconsin’s largest solar array is expected to go online as early as next month. (Janesville Gazette)
• An Indiana co-op begins installing solar arrays as part of its push to get 10 percent of its electricity from renewables. (Daily Journal)
• An Ohio company is contracted to build a 4.8 MW solar project in Maine. (Portland Press Herald)

POLICY: Michigan’s electric choice market is at the heart of the state’s energy debate. (Detroit News)

UTILITIES: Analysts say a Missouri utility’s interest in mergers and acquisitions is “puzzling.” (SNL Energy)

ECONOMY: Towns in Illinois and Nebraska prepare for the economic impacts of power plants shutting down. (Belleville News-Democrat, Omaha World-Herald)

TRANSMISSION: Local governments in a Wisconsin county will receive $1.8 million in environmental impact fees from development of a new transmission line. (Baraboo News Republic)

GRID: Prompted by the Flint water crisis, Michigan lawmakers seek $165 million for infrastructure upgrades, including electric and natural gas lines. (Associated Press)

TECHNOLOGY: A Wisconsin company has raised $4 million to develop more efficient lithium-ion batteries. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

BIOFUELS: Iowa scientists study the potential of prairie grasses as a biofuel feedstock. (Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier)

COMMENTARY:
• A Minnesota legislator claims trees cleared for a Minnesota solar array would have offset more carbon than the solar array itself. (Northfield News)
• “At some point, coal jobs in Southern Illinois will go away entirely. Your legislator cannot — or will not — admit that.” (Carbondale Southern Illinoisan)

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