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Wisconsin lifts moratorium on new nukes; Fla. solar measure scheduled for November


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Wisconsin lifts moratorium on new nukes; Fla. solar measure scheduled for November

Observersare now more interested in how FERC will rule on complaints looking to overturnthe power purchase agreements the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio approvedfor American Electric Power Co.Inc. and FirstEnergyCorp.'s nearly 6,000 MW of primarily coal-fired generation.

Congressgave the U.S. EPA "gap-filling" authority under the Clean Air Act todraft regulations for an array of emissions and sources, providing a firm legalfoundation for the Clean Power Plan, a group of more than 200 former andcurrent members of Congress told a federal appeals court.

WisconsinGov. Scott Walker has signed into law legislation lifting a 33-year-oldmoratorium on building new nuclear plants in the Midwest state. The new law also adds nuclearpower to the list of priority sources the state must consider when adding newpower plants, but currently no known plans are in the works to build newreactors within the state.

TheFlorida Supreme Court approved, by a vote of 4-3, a solar power-related ballotmeasure backed by the state's utilities to go on the November ballot. Theballot initiative, titled "Rights of Electricity Consumers Regarding SolarEnergy Choice," is being advanced by a group called Consumers for SmartSolar. The court's decision does not represent an endorsement of the ballotmeasure's cause but instead is a review of its language to ensure that itstitle and summary language are not misleading and that the ballot measure onlycovers a single subject.

Afederal appeals court April 6 rejected challenges by transmission owners in theMidcontinent Independent SystemOperator Inc. to FERC's directive that they give up theircontractual right to build new regional transmission projects, and atransmission developer's challenge to FERC's decision to allow MISO to considerfactors other than cost when selecting a project builder.

The U.S. EPA is set to revise certain greenhouse gaspermitting programs as directed by a federal appeals court. The changes wererequired in response to a 2014 U.S. Supreme Court decision that preserved theEPA's ability to require permits from large-scale greenhouse gas polluters, butalso reprimanded the agency for overreaching.

Senators at an oversight hearing on the agency's roughly$982 million budget request for fiscal year 2017 squabbled over the level ofresources needed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to perform its mission.NRC Chairman Stephen Burns, in a statement before the U.S. Senate Environmentand Public Works Committee, said that while the commission expects to be asmaller agency as a reflection of "workload reductions and efficiencygains, the need for the great majority of the services [that] we provide theAmerican people remains unchanged."

BerkshirePower Co LLC and two companies it hired to help run its Agawam,Mass., power plant have agreed to plead guilty to and/or pay fines stemmingfrom allegations that they tampered with emissions equipment and submittedfalse information to the U.S. EPA and the ISO New England Inc., Massachusetts Attorney GeneralMaura Healey announced.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan signed into law the Greenhouse GasEmissions Reduction Act, which requires the state to reduce its greenhouse gasemissions 40% below 2006 levels by 2030. Hogan said in a news release theGreenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Act, along with another signed law aimed atrestoring $60 million of funding to parks and a conservation program, will havea profound impact on preserving the environment while creating jobs andprotecting businesses.