Daily digest

TransCanada seeks $15B following Keystone XL rejection

KEYSTONE XL: TransCanada is seeking $15 billion in damages following the Obama administration’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline. In a separate court challenge, the company seeks to overturn the administration’s decision. (New York Times)

MICHIGAN: Some lawmakers and clean-energy advocates see energy policy deliberations carry over into 2016 as a positive: “That whole railroad train has been slowed a little bit.” (Midwest Energy News)

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CAPACITY AUCTION: After a surge in prices stemming from a capacity auction last year, federal regulators order grid operator MISO to change the rules that govern the annual auction. Meanwhile, Illinois’ attorney general wants refunds for ratepayers. (EnergyWire)

CLIMATE: If congressional Republicans do have a plan to wrest control of the Paris climate agreement, they are so far going about it quietly. (ClimateWire)

PIPELINES:
• Minnesota officials have launched an investigation into a regulatory staffer’s emails that critics say take a biased position against the proposed Sandpiper pipeline. Gov. Dayton is concerned the staffer “really crossed the line” into advocacy. (Pioneer Press)
• Some metro Detroit residents feel “powerless” as DTE Energy plans to run a natural-gas pipeline through their neighborhood. (CBS Detroit)

RENEWABLES: A new Department of Energy report finds the benefits of state renewable energy standards outweigh the costs by 7 to 1(Greentech Media)

WIND: Two Indiana utilities are making transmission investments to move wind energy across the state. (Public News Service)

EMISSIONS:
• Nearby residents and city officials say health concerns should block Marathon Oil from increasing the amount of pollution from its Detroit refinery. (CBS Detroit)
• Ann Arbor, Michigan is falling short of its goals to reduce carbon emissions. (MLive)

RATES:
• The Ohio Supreme Court is looking at whether state regulators followed their own rules when setting rates that are about to expire, which could factor into a decision on FirstEnergy’s proposed “bailout” plan. (Toledo Blade)
FirstEnergy wants a ruling on its “bailout” plan by March 31, the latest the utility can hold off on purchasing electricity for summer months. (Toledo Blade)
A consumer advocacy group in Kansas is raising questions about utility officials’ meeting individually with state regulators prior to a rate case being filed. (Lawrence Journal-World)

COAL: Rail shipments dropped 12 percent in 2015 due to weak demand from U.S. utilities and export markets. (Associated Press)

STORAGE: Researchers from the Midwest have helped develop a system that can store renewable energy underground while at the same time storing CO2 from fossil-fuel plants. (Phys.org) 

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MINNESOTA: The University of Minnesota awards 39 seed grants for projects pursuing renewable energy and energy efficiency throughout the state. (Associated Press)

COMMENTARY: Ohio lawmakers should reverse course and reinstate clean-energy standards. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

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