Midwest Energy News

Utility: proposed wind setbacks in Iowa would ‘wipe out’ industry

Correction: An item in this digest incorrectly identified the location of a county considering renewable energy siting regulations. It is in Iowa. 

EFFICIENCY: Consumers Energy’s CEO says customer participation in energy efficiency programs is needed to avoid building three new natural gas plants by 2040. (Energy News Network)

COAL:
• An Iowa utility could save its customers $16 million annually by quickly withdrawing from three uneconomic coal plants, according to a study commissioned by clean energy groups. (Energy News Network)
• Illinois coal industry executives grapple with workplace policies after the state legalized recreational marijuana. (Southern Illinoisan)
• Illinois Basin coal output stabilizes despite a declining export market and logistical issues. (S&P Global)

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WIND:
• MidAmerican Energy says a county’s proposed rule calling for 1.5-mile turbine setbacks from the nearest home would “wipe out” wind development if other counties followed suit. (Des Moines Register)
• A South Dakota landfill says it won’t accept more used wind turbine blades from a project in Minnesota until the owner takes more steps to compact the massive components. (Sioux Falls Argus Leader)

PIPELINES: The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe seeks to intervene as North Dakota regulators consider a new pump station that would increase the Dakota Access pipeline’s capacity. (Bismarck Tribune)

EMISSIONS: The Trump administration plans to roll back regulations on methane emissions from the oil and gas industry. (New York Times)

OIL & GAS:
• A federal study finding Bakken oil is no more volatile than any other kind bolsters North Dakota officials seeking to overturn a Washington state oil-by-rail law. (Bismarck Tribune)
• North Dakota regulators consider new rules to stop the increasing number of abandoned oil and gas wells. (Bismarck Tribune)

SOLAR:
• Local officials allow Walmart to build a 16-acre solar project at a distribution center in northern Illinois. (Bureau County Republican)
• Smaller setbacks are approved to allow the construction of a 3 MW solar project in Indiana. (Anderson Herald Bulletin)

BIOFUELS: Midwestern farmers’ loyalty to President Trump is being put to the test with the administration’s use of ethanol waivers for oil refiners. (Associated Press)

RENEWABLES: An Iowa county considers new regulations for utility-scale wind and solar projects. (Nebraska City News Press)

COMMENTARY:
• Subsidies for FirstEnergy nuclear and coal plants cost an Ohio town jobs and billions of dollars in economic activity after plans for a natural gas plant are canceled, and editorial board writes. (Youngstown Vindicator)
• Energy attorneys say Michigan and North Dakota have adopted proactive policies that address concerns over solar projects on prime farmland. (PV Magazine)
• An Ohio editorial board braces for “obnoxious ad wars” if a high-profile campaign plays out over a referendum on nuclear and coal subsidies. (Columbus Dispatch)

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