Daily digest

Stockholders file class action lawsuit over Kansas utility sale

TRANSMISSION: Missouri regulators delay action for 60 days on reconsidering a developer’s plans for the $2 billion Grain Belt Express transmission project. (EnergyWire)

UTILITIES:
• A class action lawsuit is filed in Kansas alleging Westar Energy executives undervalued their company when selling it recently to Great Plains Energy. (Topeka Capital-Journal)
• Ohio utility AEP ranks near the bottom of Midwest utilities in a new customer satisfaction survey. (Columbus Dispatch)

*** SPONSORED LINK: Illinois Renewable Energy Conference, July 21st in Normal, Illinois, will feature plenary sessions of interest to all areas of renewable energy, plus specific breakout sessions for wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, and energy efficiency.***

RENEWABLES:
• Xcel Energy ranks high in another survey of utilities that are deploying the most renewables. (Utility Dive)
• Nebraska ethanol producers are turning to renewable energy to cut their carbon emissions and stay competitive. (WNAX)

OIL AND GAS: North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple calls for a special legislative session next month to address a state budget shortfall caused largely by a sharp decline in oil tax revenue. (Minnesota Public Radio)

NUCLEAR: A southwest Michigan nuclear reactor is back in operation after it was shut down last week due to a steam line rupture. (Herald-Palladium)

SOLAR: Kansas City Power & Light opens its first solar farm in Missouri on a 12-acre site. (Kansas City Business Journal)

PIPELINES: County officials in southern Ohio reject Duke Energy’s plan to build a natural gas pipeline through several communities. (WLWT-TV)

FRAC SAND: Frac sand remains absent from shipping docks on the Mississippi River near Minnesota and Wisconsin. (Winona Daily News)

EFFICIENCY:
• DTE Energy customers who participated in the utility’s efficiency programs in 2015 will save nearly $600 million. (Transmission & Distribution World)
• A new report says growth in building efficiency and weakened industrial demand is decreasing carbon emissions and lowering electricity prices. (Climate Central)

RAIL:
• Under a new rule proposed by the federal Department of Transportation, railroads hauling crude oil would need to develop comprehensive plans for dealing with a potential spill. (Associated Press)
• A decrease in coal shipments is contributing to plunging profits for the rail industry. (Bloomberg News)

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CLIMATE:
• Suspecting a political agenda, a Republican-led U.S. House panel subpoenas two state attorneys general and eight environmental and legal groups amid their investigations into whether Exxon Mobil misled investors on climate change risks. (Reuters)
• Climate denial groups seek to stall research by pursuing scientists through the court system. (DeSmog Blog)

COMMENTARY:
• Plant operators are “chasing in and out of states depending on the subsidies on offer.” (Bloomberg)
• With a “better understanding” of how nuclear power works, “it is not too late to reshape the discussion” around the energy source. (Forbes)
• With more renewable energy coming online, planners should give careful consideration to how those projects connect to the transmission system. (Union of Concerned Scientists)

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