Daily digest

Report: Pipeline beneath Straits of Mackinac is unnecessary

RENEWABLES:
• A deal struck by Congressional leaders would extend tax breaks for solar and wind energy for five years, but language ending the U.S. ban on crude oil exports means passage is not assured. (The Hill)
• The full text of the bill can be found here, language dealing with wind and solar begins on page 2002.

PIPELINES:
• A new report released by Michigan advocates says Enbridge’s Line 5 beneath the Straits of Mackinac is not necessary and could be replaced without interruption by existing Midwest infrastructure. (Detroit Free Press)
• The Minnesota Supreme Court delivers advocates a victory by upholding a lower court decision requiring an environmental study for the Sandpiper project. (Associated Press)
After largely going unchecked, the new supervisor of a pipeline program in North Dakota wants to devote more resources to overseeing smaller pipelines. (Billings Gazette)

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WIND:
• A Republican lawmaker from Nebraska believes wind and solar development can provide an economic lifeline to his rural home district. (Midwest Energy News)
• Local health officials in Wisconsin say insufficient evidence exists to link wind turbines to illnesses suffered by people who live near them. (Green Bay Press-Gazette)

TECHNOLOGY: A Michigan-based company makes efforts to bring electricity to areas with high energy costs and little-to-no grid access using microgrid technology. (Midwest Energy News)

OHIO:
• Opponents say AEP’s plans to significantly increase its renewable output as part of an income-guarantee proposal will hurt ratepayers. (Columbus Dispatch)
The former chairman of the state utility regulatory board lobbies against “bailout” deals for both FirstEnergy and AEP. (Columbus Dispatch)

SOLAR:
• A light rail system in St. Paul, Minnesota will get more of its electricity from solar. (Minnesota Public Radio)
Multiple new community solar projects are approved in southern Minnesota. (Mankato Free Press)

OIL AND GAS: The Ohio Supreme Court will decide whether hundreds of landowners can exit leases with an energy company that hasn’t drilled for oil or gas on their sites for years. (Youngstown Vindicator)

POLLUTION: A federal appeals court says EPA rules limiting pollution from mercury and other toxic materials can remain in place while the agency revises the plan to consider compliance costs. Experts expect more legal challenges to come. (Reuters, Greenwire)

FRACKING: New research shows home values near fracking operations drop if the property depends on well water, but values rise if the water is piped in. (Phys.org)

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GASOLINE: A new federal report is expected to show that increased demand for larger, less fuel-efficient vehicles is holding back emission-reduction goals. (Reuters)

COMMENTARY:
• Wisconsin lawmakers should lift the state’s moratorium on new nuclear plants. (Racine Journal Times)
An offshore wind farm in Lake Erie gives Cleveland a chance to shed its Rust Belt, river-burning image. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
Madison, Wisconsin’s utility already has ambitious goals in place to exceed Clean Power Plan regulations. (Wisconsin State Journal)

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