Daily digest

Trump directs EPA to table plans to weaken biofuel mandate

SOLAR: Cities in Nebraska and Ohio are among a growing number to approve “plug and play” solar devices that make it easier and less costly to install solar panels at homes. (Midwest Energy News)

• President Trump has reportedly directed the U.S. EPA to table plans that would weaken federal biofuel mandates, apparently in response to pressure from top lawmakers from Iowa. (Bloomberg)
• A county in northeast South Dakota looks to use a 30 percent ethanol blend in its vehicle fleet to save money on fuel. (Watertown Public Opinion)

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• Ohio lawmakers continue to debate renewable energy standards and whether making them voluntary would hurt the state economically. (E&E News, subscription)
• A top-ranking Republican state senator in Ohio who has championed wind energy development has resigned his seat. (Ohio Public Radio)

POLICY: A new report by the Brattle Group says the Trump administration’s plan to boost coal plants will ultimately disadvantage the sector because it wouldn’t curtail competition from natural gas. (Utility Dive)

PIPELINES: A federal judge will hear arguments over the next month on whether the Dakota Access pipeline developer must stage spill-response equipment near a tribes’ reservation. (Associated Press)

WIND: DTE Energy is acquiring easements in a southern Michigan county to evaluate potential wind energy sites. (Daily Telegram)

BIOMASS: Construction is scheduled to begin next year on an 8 megawatt biomass plant in Nebraska that burns wood and various other types of waste, as well as produces torrefied wood pellets to be burned at coal plants. (Sioux City Journal)

CLIMATE: U.S. Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota emerges as perhaps the “most noticeable” advocate for climate change in the Senate due to his technique of framing the debate with opponents. (E&E News)

COAL: Experts in Wisconsin say repealing the Clean Power Plan will do little to stabilize or increase the use of coal there, which is affected by lower prices for natural gas and renewables. (WXOW)

EMISSIONS: The Energy Department announces up to $26 million will be available for carbon capture technology research focused on coal and gas plants. (Utility Dive)

• The owner of a brewery in northern Michigan says the “stakes are too high to further delay action” on closing Enbridge’s Line 5. (Traverse City Record-Eagle)
• The Chicago Sun-Times says state air pollution regulators should reject Dynegy’s request to change emission rates from its coal plants.

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