Daily digest

Upper Midwest coal plants prove resilient to low gas prices

COAL:
• Coal plants in the upper Midwest have been more resilient than in other parts of the grid due to a lack of l0w-cost gas-fired plants and easy access to coal supplies. (Bloomberg)
• A Murray Energy-owned coal mine in Illinois will remain in production for several more months than anticipated. (Platts)

OHIO: Consumer and environmental advocacy groups join energy companies in opposing FirstEnergy’s revised rate proposal that critics still call a “bailout” for uneconomic coal and nuclear plants. (Midwest Energy News)

***SPONSORED LINK: Ready your nominations, the 2016 Midwest Energy News 40 Under 40 will open on Monday, June 27th. We are looking for leaders and innovators from all sectors — industry, government, business, and advocacy. ***

POLICY: Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder says flexibility should be an important component to lawmakers’ attempts at a statewide energy policy overhaul. (EnergyWire)

EFFICIENCY:
• Eastern Michigan University is planning a variety of energy efficiency investments that would reduce its annual operating costs by $2.6 million. (MLive)
• The U.S. Department of Agriculture will make available $52 million in loans for rural electric co-ops to make efficiency investments. (KTVZ-TV)

WIND: Developers unveil early plans for a 200-megawatt wind project in Iowa. (Cherokee Chronicle Times)

SOLAR:
• Interest is growing in a group-buying solar program in Wisconsin. (Racine Journal Times)
• The developer behind what would be the largest solar project in Ohio seeks a tax break worth $7.3 million. (Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune)

REGULATION:
• Ohio Gov. John Kasich appoints a Democrat and former lawyer to fill a vacancy on the state utility regulatory commission. (Columbus Dispatch)
• Top Ohio lawmakers quickly call for formal hearings on the appointment out of concerns about conflicts of interest and the appointee’s activist past. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

OIL AND GAS: A federal judge blocks a North Dakota city from enforcing a July 1 deadline for oil crew camps to shut down. (KUMV-TV)

PIPELINES: Local officials in southeast Michigan consider a resolution to oppose the planned NEXUS natural gas pipeline. (MLive)

FRACKING: The beginning stages of the lawsuit brought against the Obama administration’s rules for fracking on public land started at a 2014 meeting of industry regulators and other state-level officials and lobbyists. (DeSmog Blog)

BIOFUEL: A Nebraska ethanol plant will invest in an $8 million expansion to boost production capacity by 15 percent. (Sioux City Journal)

RATES:
• Wisconsin ratepayers in Green Bay and Madison will see bill credits totaling more than $16 million after power companies over-collected from customers last year for fuel burned in power plants. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
• AEP and Ohio consumer advocates are at odds over whether ratepayers were overcharged for electricity dating back to 2012. (Columbus Dispatch)

CLIMATE: A renowned Antarctic conservationist tells a crowd in Ohio that renewable energy needs to be embraced on a larger scale to slow the effects of climate change. (Toledo Blade) 

***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 ***

TRANSMISSION: Kansas utility Westar Energy asks state regulators to approve its new calculation of transmission costs that would reduce rates by $18 million. (Topeka Capital-Journal)

COMMENTARY:
• A prominent business owner on Mackinac Island in Michigan calls for oil pipelines beneath the Straits of Mackinac to be shut down. (Detroit Free Press)
• Without significant research and development in next-generation technology, “nuclear power will decline.” (Wisconsin State Journal)

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