Daily digest

Utilities spend $1.6M to influence Michigan energy policy

POLITICS: Utilities have spent more than $1.6 million in Michigan over the past year to influence legislators and the public as the state overhauls its energy policy. (MLive)

BALLOT INITIATIVES:
• Based on strong public polling, advocates in Missouri are crafting a clean-energy ballot initiative for the 2016 election. (Midwest Energy News)
Ohio election officials are looking at whether a planned clean-energy constitutional amendment would run afoul of a new “anti-monopoly” amendment just passed by state voters. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join the nation’s most successful women leaders in energy as they share their industry knowledge, strategies and experiences at the Leadership Conference for Women in Energy, December 7-8 in Newport Beach, California.***

EFFICIENCY: The latest report from Minnesota’s Commerce Department says the state’s energy efficiency program generates at least $4 in benefits for every dollar invested. (Utility Dive)

SOLAR: Advocates protest at Xcel Energy’s headquarters against what they say are stall tactics as the utility unrolls its community solar program. (CBS Minnesota)

ILLINOIS: The state’s attorney general is calling for a review of whether the former company behind a major natural gas infrastructure project in Illinois intentionally misled customers about its cost. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

COAL: A southern Illinois community braces for another coal bust cycle cycle as one of two large mines is scheduled to close within six months. (Southern Illinoisan)

DERAILMENTS:
• Company crews continue to clean up after a train derailment spilled more than 18,000 gallons of ethanol into Mississippi River backwaters. Environmental impacts are not yet known. (Winona Daily News)
Federal officials are still investigating what caused two train derailments carrying ethanol and crude oil in Wisconsin over the weekend. (Minnesota Public Radio)

CLIMATE CHANGE: A top agriculture official says climate change poses a serious threat to Midwest agriculture. (Kansas City Business Journal)

CLEAN POWER PLAN:
• Most states that have joined the lawsuit against the federal rules are also mulling how they might comply, including Indiana’s once-defiant governor. (ClimateWire)
Michigan’s governor and attorney general are on a parallel track to “comply and resist” the rules. (MiBiz)

COAL ASH: An annual environmental event in Indiana this year will focus on coal ash storage rules. (Indiana Public Media)

KEYSTONE XL: Analysts say President Obama’s rejection of the project may eventually boost rail shipments out of Alberta. (EnergyWire)

OIL AND GAS: The IEA says oil prices will likely stay low for the next five years. (Associated Press)

UTILITIES: AEP of Ohio says it will invest $13 billion through 2018 mostly on its regulated businesses and transmission upgrades. (Columbus Business First)

VOLKSWAGEN: The automaker hands out $1,000 in gift cards and vouchers to owners of nearly 500,000 of its diesel vehicles in the U.S. as part of the emissions scandal fallout. (Associated Press)

COMMENTARY:
• Minnesotans “should be pleased” the state attorney general is fighting in court to support the Clean Power Plan. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
A proposed clean-energy amendment in Ohio “sure sounds like what the state constitution now bars.” (Akron Beacon Journal)
Consumers Energy says it’s “critical” that state lawmakers act on new energy policy before the end of the year. (Lansing State Journal)

Comments are closed.