Daily digest

Two utilities look to double Wisconsin’s solar output

SOLAR:
• Responding to increasing customer interest, a Wisconsin electric co-op and Xcel Energy announce separate plans that would double the state’s solar capacity. (LaCrosse Tribune)
A new report says all but four states took up some type of policy action on distributed solar generation in 2015. (Greentech Media)

WIND: Ohio advocates say the state’s restrictive setback requirements for wind turbines is a double standard, and lawmakers who support it do not place the same limitations on oil and gas development. (Midwest Energy News)

*** SPONSORED LINK: Solar Powering Iowa, March 23-24 in Cedar Rapids will be packed with an energizing mix of pre-conference trainings, keynotes, breakout sessions, and networking. Register today!***

ILLINOIS: Modeling by the Union of Concerned Scientists shows that a statewide Clean Jobs bill would spur more investment in renewables and efficiency than the Clean Power Plan would on its own. (Midwest Energy News)

MERCURY:
• Led by Michigan’s attorney general, a coalition of 20 states ask the U.S. Supreme Court to halt an Obama administration rule meant to cut mercury emissions from power plants after it found the regulation didn’t properly account for costs. (MLive, E&E Daily)
Michigan advocates say utilities have already been complying with the mercury rules at a fraction of the cost they predicted. (Michigan Radio)

PIPELINES: Tribal leaders say a two-year delay in the Sandpiper project passing through northern Minnesota is not enough. (Public News Service)

DIVESTMENT: Though mostly symbolic, local officials in St. Paul, Minnesota pass a resolution to not invest public funds in fossil-fuel companies. (Pioneer Press)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: Opponents of the federal rules argue in federal court that the plan threatens local businesses and would disproportionately harm minorities. (EnergyWire)

OIL AND GAS:
• Chesapeake Energy no longer has any drilling operations in Ohio. (Columbus Business First)
Declining oil prices has left North Dakota’s Transportation Department to patch a $69 million budget shortfall. (Associated Press)
• EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy says the U.S. oil and gas industry emits more methane than previously thought. (Reuters)

COAL:
Ohio-based FirstEnergy says its stake in a Montana coal mine is worth nothing. (Associated Press)
U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell says coal companies must be responsible for paying the cleanup costs of spent mines. (Reuters)

CLIMATE:
• Scientists develop a “carbon budget” to keep emissions within the framework agreed upon in Paris. (Climate Central)
Documents show the NSA has spied on secret climate negotiations among other countries for years. (Grist)

NUCLEAR: The industry faces uncertainty following the Supreme Court’s halt to the Clean Power Plan. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

STORAGE: The CEO of AES — Tesla’s main competitor in battery storage — projects the industry will be “quite large” in five years. (Forbes)

COMMENTARY: Minnesota advocates “envision a goal of zero emissions and 100 percent clean energy” statewide by 2050. (MinnPost)

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