Daily digest

Report: Producers, utilities pushing ‘overbuilding’ of natural gas pipelines

OHIO:
• Amid further review by federal regulators of two income-guarantee deals for struggling plants, utilities FirstEnergy and AEP will likely turn to the state legislature to return Ohio to a fully regulated market. (Midwest Energy News)
AEP is also considering selling its generating plants that were part of the power-purchase agreement. (Columbus Business First)
FirstEnergy is “disappointed” in this week’s ruling by federal regulators halting the “bailout” deals; alternative supplier Dynegy “applauds” the ruling. (Crain’s Cleveland Business)

SOLAR:
• A bipartisan group of Iowa lawmakers are pushing back against two utilities’ efforts to increase rates on solar customers. (Midwest Energy News) 
• SunEdison’s bankruptcy doesn’t have the same “symbolic value” that Solyndra’s bankruptcy did five years ago, experts say. (EnergyWire)
A Minnesota county planning commission rejects a proposal to develop a 28-acre solar project on wetlands. (Red Wing Republican Eagle)
Xcel Energy plans Wisconsin’s largest solar garden at the site of a former landfill. (Eau Claire Leader-Telegram)

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PIPELINES:
The financial interests of pipeline companies, natural gas producers and utilities is leading to the overbuilding of natural gas pipelines, according to a new report. (Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis)
• Iowa regulators deny a request by environmental groups and landowners to hold a rehearing on the Dakota Access pipeline, though the board will investigate claims that the developer violated terms of its agreement. (The Gazette)

EMISSIONS: A new report says Minneapolis could meet its climate goals through aggressively electrifying the area’s transportation system and implementing more efficiency programs for buildings. (Midwest Energy News)

CLEAN POWER PLAN:
• Minnesota is among fourteen states seeking formal guidance from the EPA on how to prepare for the Clean Power Plan despite the Supreme Court stay. (Bloomberg)
• A conservative energy advocacy group is pushing state legislatures to pass budget bills that block spending for Clean Power Plan compliance. (ClimateWire)

NUCLEAR: Local officials make the economic case against shutting down the Clinton nuclear power station in central Illinois. (Bloomington Pantagraph)

OIL AND GAS: An industry representatives says new oil and gas drilling activity in Ohio will likely be limited to four counties. (Youngstown Vindicator)

CLIMATE CHANGE: Health officials notice a spike in illnesses in Michigan that coincide with rising temperatures and altered precipitation associated with climate change. (Daily Climate)

COAL:
• Since 2007, Ohio’s coal consumption has dropped 49 percent. (Beckly Register-Herald)
We Energies pays $1.25 million for property to use as a “buffer zone” around one of its Wisconsin coal plants. (Racine County Eye)

UTILITIES: Ohio-based AEP says profits and sales are down in the first quarter of the year due to the mild winter. (Columbus Dispatch)

MICHIGAN: The Republican chairman of Michigan’s House Energy Committee calls on the legislature to approve comprehensive energy legislation while the state still has its autonomy over the industry. (WSJM)

BIOFUELS: Iowa lawmakers vote overwhelmingly to extend state tax incentives for ethanol and biofuel production through 2024. (Iowa Farmer Today)

NATURAL GAS: The Illinois Attorney General and a consumer advocacy group agree to support the $8 billion buyout of a natural gas company if the new owner stops selling above-market natural gas under the Nicor name in suburban Chicago. (Crain’s Chicago Business)

COMMENTARY: An Enbridge official writes that a study done by the University of Michigan that models the potential impacts of an oil spill from the company’s Line 5 into the Great Lakes is “alarmist.” (Bridge Magazine)

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