Daily digest

Revised Indiana bill would allow Tesla to continue selling directly to customers

SOLAR:
• For some Michigan farmers interested in generating solar energy on their property, they may have to choose between keeping tax incentives for preserving farmland or leasing their property to developers. (Midwest Energy News)
• An Illinois-based installer says solar will be a key part of southern Illinois’ renewable energy future. (Southern Illinoisan)

OIL AND GAS:
• In his latest budget proposal, Ohio Gov. John Kasich is again seeking to raise the state’s severance tax on oil and gas production — and again, it’s being met with resistance by industry leaders and some lawmakers. (Midwest Energy News)
• A Minnesota Senate committee advances a plan to allow Xcel Energy to convert a major coal-burning plant to natural gas and bypass state utility regulators. (WCCO)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join the Midwest Energy Research Consortium (M-WERC) at the Energy Storage Conference, February 15 in Milwaukee. This conference will explore recent advances in energy storage technologies, as well as the applications and in-field examples of the role of energy storage. ***

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: In the latest changes to an Indiana bill, Tesla would be allowed to continue selling its cars directly to customers and bypass dealerships. (Associated Press)

REGULATION: A new survey finds strong opposition among Ohio voters to returning to traditional utility monopolies. A company developing five natural gas plants there is also vocally opposed. (Cleveland Plain Dealer, Kallanish Energy)

EFFICIENCY: St. Louis officials approve an energy efficiency benchmarking program to track energy use in certain commercial buildings. (St. Louis Post Dispatch)

COAL:
• A new report says falling prices for solar will cause demand for coal to decline after 2020. (Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register)
• Congress approves a plan to repeal the Obama administration’s stream protection rule for coal mining waste; President Trump is expected to swiftly sign it. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
• An Illinois researcher sees untapped opportunity for “clean coal” research to help boost the state’s industry. (Southern Business Journal)

PIPELINES: 76 Dakota Access pipeline protesters were arrested this week for camping on private land, according to the police.The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe disavowed the camp, saying it undermined its efforts. (NPR, Bismarck Tribune)

POLITICS: The Trump administration has been removing from the U.S. EPA’s website “federal climate plans created under former President Obama, tribal assistance programs, and references to international cooperation.” (Climate Central)

CLIMATE: Iowa City is looking for residents to help steer the city’s sustainability efforts as it reduces greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

SMART METERS: Ohio-based AEP’s new smart meter program will allow participants to easily access and download their energy usage data online. (Columbus Business First)

BIOMASS: The installation of a new biomass boiler to heat a greenhouse at the University of Illinois is near completion. (Biomass Magazine)

COMMENTARY: An Ohio college student and employee in the solar industry says attempts to limit public access to climate science is a “concern for the scientific and business community.” (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

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