Daily digest

Retired Indiana coal miners win out in bankruptcy deal

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COAL: Parties involved with the Patriot Coal bankruptcy back off a plan that would have diverted $18 million for health insurance from retired Indiana coal miners. (ProPublica)

EFFICIENCY: A new program in Chicago aims to help residents install one million “smart” thermostats. (Midwest Energy News)

***SPONSORED LINK: Hear top executives from the area’s RTOs, utilities, transmission developers, and state regulatory agencies discuss and debate critical issues at EUCI’s Transmission Expansion in the Midwest conference November 9-10 in Indianapolis.***

NUCLEAR: Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin look to end the state’s 32-year-old ban on the construction of new nuclear plants. (LaCrosse Tribune)

BIOFUELS: Researchers at the University of Iowa find that the school’s burning of oat hulls collected from a nearby Quaker Oats facility along with coal reduces carbon emissions by 40 percent. (Iowa City Press-Citizen)

PIPELINES:
• An Iowa judge will decide within two weeks whether a company can use eminent domain to use residents’ property for the Dakota Access pipeline. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)
The National Wildlife Federation alleges in a new lawsuit that the federal government has failed to require worst-case oil spill response plans for every pipeline crossing inland waters over the past 20 years. (MLive)

GRID: Federal regulators are investigating whether market manipulation took place at a capacity auction earlier this year that spiked prices in eastern and southern Illinois. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: Minnesota House Republicans ask the governor and attorney general to join a lawsuit challenging federal carbon rules in court. (Echo Press)

UTILITIES: Chicago-based Exelon agrees to establish a corporate presence in Washington D.C. to secure a $6.8 billion merger with Pepco. (Chicago Business Journal)

NATURAL GAS: Developers are planning to build a new $1.1 billion, 1,100-megawatt natural gas plant in Ohio. (Akron Beacon Journal)

POLITICS: Democrats plan to filibuster a popular federal energy bill as part of an ongoing standoff with Republicans over budget negotiations. (E&E Daily)

WISCONSIN: In the wake of residents’ concerns, We Energies does not believe there is a connection between health issues and one of its coal-fired power plants. (Racine Journal Times)

EMISSIONS: An Iowa legislative panel approves new fees for air-quality applications and notifications after a long-term decline in emission-related revenue. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

SOLAR: Southern Illinois residents turn to solar power to decrease reliance on the grid. (Southern Illinoisan)

COMMENTARY:
• A Michigan-based economist says the state should incentivize innovation and investments in renewables and efficiency on the part of utilities. (MLive)
AEP’s “bailout” proposal in Ohio is “just as outrageous as it sounds.” (Columbus Dispatch)

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