Midwest Energy News

States challenge Trump administration fuel efficiency rollback

EFFICIENCY: St. Louis adopted an ambitious policy this month to cut energy use from buildings, while across the state in Kansas City an effort to improve building energy code again faces opposition from homebuilders. (Energy News Network)

EMISSIONS:
• A group of 23 states file a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s rollback of Obama-era fuel efficiency standards. (Reuters)
• Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel says the rollback is an “additional slap in the face to public health” during a pandemic. (MLive)

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TRANSMISSION: Iowa regulators approve a segment of the controversial Cardinal-Hickory Creek transmission line that extends into Wisconsin. (KCRG)

COAL:
• A large Wisconsin coal plant with no set retirement date could cost Alliant Energy customers $257 million through 2030, according to a Sierra Club report showing clean energy is a cheaper option. (Utility Dive)
• Executives at an Indiana coal company will face daily fines of $2,500 if they continue to flout court orders as part of a bankruptcy case. (Ohio Valley Resource)
• A side agreement over clean energy investments between DTE Energy and the Sierra Club after settling a pollution control dispute suggests a frayed alliance between the environmental group and the U.S. EPA. (E&E News, subscription)
• Appalachian Ohio officials seek to rebuild their economies around coal mining heritage and promote the region’s natural features. (Athens News)

CLIMATE: Some officials in Ann Arbor, Michigan, raise concerns about housing density components of a proposed citywide carbon neutrality plan. (MLive)

UTILITIES:
• Indiana regulators will investigate the pandemic’s impact on utilities and consider a request to recoup lost revenue from customers. (Fort Wayne Journal Gazette)
• A judge approves a $12 million class action settlement between FirstEnergy Solutions’ bankruptcy estate and a group of customers who said they were overcharged during the 2014 polar vortex. (Bloomberg Law, subscription)

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SOLAR: Federal energy regulators are considering a petition that critics say would overturn 20 years of precedent and undermine net metering laws in 45 states. (E&E News, subscription)

COMMENTARY:
• Utilities across 15 Midwest states “exploited power market loopholes” in operating coal plants that cost customers $350 million in 2018, the Union of Concerned Scientists says in a new report.
• North Dakota is facing the economic realities of the coal industry’s decline, says former Lt. Gov. Lloyd Omdahl. (Grand Forks Herald)

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