Daily digest

Wisconsin’s solar capacity grew 39 percent in 2015

COAL: Critics worry that Peabody Energy won’t be able to meet its responsibility to clean up Illinois Basin mines as its coal business declines, potentially leaving the costs to taxpayers. (Midwest Energy News)

SOLAR:
• A recent jobs report shows Michigan’s solar employment will grow 14 percent this year, but advocates worry statewide net metering changes will stunt long-term growth. (Midwest Energy News)
Wisconsin’s solar capacity grew by 39 percent in 2015. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
Local officials in Minnesota sign off on a five-megawatt community solar project. (Pope County Tribune)

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CLEAN POWER PLAN:
• A new report says Minnesota could go beyond requirements in the federal plan if it continues favorable clean-energy and efficiency policies. (Midwest Energy News)
• Of the 47 states affected by the federal rules, 18 have halted compliance planning, 20 will continue working on statewide plans and nine are undecided on how to move forward following a recent Supreme Court stay. (ClimateWire)
Opponents file briefs with the U.S. Court of Appeals in the high-stakes case, claiming the federal rules usurp state authority. (EnergyWire)

PIPELINES: Opponents pledge an “all-out fight” if Iowa regulators allow the Bakken Pipeline project to move through the state. (Des Moines Register)

EMISSIONS: Southwest Detroit residents who live near an oil refinery file a class action lawsuit alleging the plant’s fumes and noise are a perpetual nuisance harming their lives. (Detroit Free Press)

NATURAL GAS:
• Officials with WEC Energy deny any culpability in a case involving misinformation about cost overruns for a natural gas infrastructure project in Chicago. (Milwaukee Business Journal)
North Dakota regulators express concern over the proximity of a proposed natural gas pipeline to residents. (Bismarck Tribune)

KANSAS: “Intense bipartisan pressure” has led Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration to back off plans for a $20 million “energy center” at the state capital. (Topeka Capital-Journal)

OIL AND GAS:
• Those who are staying put in North Dakota’s oil patch towns as the industry declines may end up saving those towns in return. (Associated Press)
• The head of the International Energy Agency said oil prices will climb back to $80 a barrel by 2020. (Associated Press)

UTILITIES:
• Consumers Energy pledges to improve its meter-reading practices following complaints from hundreds of ratepayers. (MLive)
Ohio State University is moving into the final stages of privatizing its energy management. (Columbus Business First)

CLEAN TECH: Bill Gates says young people will be the key to finding global clean-energy solutions. (Associated Press)

COMMENTARY:
• Extending the lifespan of U.S. nuclear plants for another 20 years would be an important way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (Forbes)
Minnesota residents should weigh in on whether the state should be investing more in renewable energy and efficiency to see even greater savings down the road. (Duluth News Tribune)

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