Daily digest

Top Ohio regulator: Investing in clean energy is ‘right thing to do’

CLIMATE:
• The chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio seeks a balanced approach to dealing with climate change so there won’t be “dire economic consequences,” and also calls investing in clean energy the “right thing to do.” (EnergyWire)
• The agriculture sector is responsible for a steadily growing amount of greenhouse gas emissions. (Climate Central)

SOLAR:
• Alliant Energy plans a 4-megawatt solar project in Dubuque, Iowa, which would be the state’s largest. (Dubuque Telegraph Herald)
• Local officials in a southern Minnesota city vote to invest in 5 megawatts at community solar projects around the area, potentially saving $1.2 million over 25 years. (Mankato Free Press)
• An Ohio furniture store plans to get 8 percent of its power needs by installing solar panels on its roof. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

***SPONSORED LINK: Learn about the latest in renewable energy and sustainability at The Energy FairJune 17-19. Features include keynote speakers John Farrell and J. Drake Hamilton, 250+ workshops, 200+ exhibitors, entertainment, and more.***

OIL AND GAS:
• BP agrees to pay nearly $300,000 in fines and continue to reduce pollution at its Whiting refinery near Chicago following a 2014 incident that spilled 39 barrels of oil into Lake Michigan. (Northwest Indiana Times)
• A Pennsylvania-based company plans to sell off its Midwest shale assets for $40 million. (Pittsburgh Business Times)
• A natural gas line rupture in St. Louis forces the evacuation of 150 people nearby. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

UTILITIES:
• Utility executives gather in Chicago to embrace distributed generation but also to reaffirm their companies’ role as administrators of the grid. (Midwest Energy News)
• Midwest utilities also say market reforms are needed that properly value baseload generation such as nuclear. (Utility Dive)

BIOFUELS:
• Spain-based renewable energy company Abengoa is lining up buyers for four of its Midwest ethanol plants as the company restructures. (St. Louis Business Journal)
• New research partially funded by the U.S. government says there is “no clear relationship between biofuels and higher prices that threaten access to food.” (Reuters)

PIPELINES:
• A pipeline developer will detail plans today for a $500 million, 240-mile project to move ethane through Ohio. (Toledo Blade)
• Congress votes to require stronger safety measures for pipelines carrying oil and gas through the Great Lakes region. (Associated Press)
• Opponents say DTE Energy’s plans for a natural gas pipeline to move supplies from eastern Ohio and Pennsylvania is a bad deal for ratepayers. See here for background on the project. (Detroit Free Press, Midwest Energy News archive)

TRANSMISSION: A Kansas-based municipal utility will likely receive millions of dollars from Kansas City Power and Light to settle a dispute involving transmission costs. (Independence Examiner)

RATES: Cheaper wholesale power prices are causing a rate decrease for Duke Energy customers in Ohio. (Cincinnati Business Courier)

NUCLEAR: Federal regulators will hold a public forum next week to discuss the safety of operations at a southwest Michigan nuclear plant. (MLive)

***SPONSORED LINK: The Michigan Energy Fair announces two new partners: The Sustainable Living Summit 2016 and The Great Lakes Emergency Preparedness Expo, June 24-25, Ingham County Fairgrounds, Mason, Michigan. For complete information go to www.glrea.org ***

POLITICS: U.S. Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio will launch radio ads today attacking his opponent Ted Strickland’s record on the coal industry. (Washington Examiner)

COMMENTARY:
• Ensuring solar is available to everyone and preventing potential cross-subsidization among customer classes are ways to develop a robust industry. (Midwest Energy News)
• Conservatives need to lead on pushing Ohio’s clean energy future. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
• Minnesota should lead on electrifying the state’s transportation system, starting with electric buses. (MinnPost)
• Michigan’s Attorney General should end his fight against mercury pollution standards. (Detroit Free Press)

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