Midwest Energy News

Agreement would close central Illinois coal plant in 2022

COAL: A proposed settlement would close in 2022 a central Illinois coal plant that’s been the subject of a lawsuit by environmental groups for years; it would be the fifth coal plant closure that owner Vistra has announced over the past month. (Peoria Journal Star, Chicago Tribune)

UTILITIES:
Iowa environmental groups criticize a utility’s proposed fixed charge increase they say would discourage energy efficiency and customer-owned solar power. (Energy News Network)
• Missouri regulators plan to more closely watch utilities’ use of “self-scheduling” when they operate power plants despite low wholesale market prices. (Energy News Network)

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POLICY:
Proposed “Clean Energy First” legislation in Minnesota that would make it tougher to build new fossil fuel generation has bipartisan support and may be more likely to pass than other clean energy proposals. (MinnPost)
• At least five clean energy bills are pending at the Illinois General Assembly, indicating a potential clash over how the state continues its transition from coal power. (E&E News, subscription)

OIL & GAS:
Crude oil and natural gas production reach new highs in North Dakota, though flaring continues to exceed the state’s goals. (Williston Herald)
• U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib says a recent chemical leak at a Detroit refinery is part of a pattern that is raising concerns among nearby residents. (Detroit Free Press)
• A buildup of natural gas is the suspected cause of a recent explosion in Des Moines, Iowa, that damaged homes and injured neighbors. (KCCI)

BIOFUELS:
A second Iowa ethanol plant is shutting down due to uncertainty from the Trump administration’s use of waivers for oil refiners. (Radio Iowa)
• Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz creates a biofuels council to help producers through an industry downturn. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

RENEWABLES:
• DTE Energy seeks proposals for hundreds of megawatts of wind and solar power in order to meet state requirements and company-wide renewable energy goals. (Detroit News)
• Across the Midwest and other states, developers of major renewable energy projects face local opposition that can derail plans. (Bloomberg)

POLITICS: Contested U.S. House races in Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois and Iowa could be shaped by environmental and energy issues. (E&E News, subscription)

GRID: More frequent storms are challenging the resilience of the power grid in a Cleveland suburb. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

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COAL ASH: Illinois regulators host public listening sessions today to gather input from residents on coal ash regulations. (Illinois Public Media) 

COMMENTARY:
• Michigan’s top utility regulator says the state’s energy infrastructure is adequate to meet customer needs, though a series of recommendations would make the grid more resilient. (Detroit Free Press)
• An Enbridge official defends the company’s pipeline safety record and says it has invested more than $6 billion in renewable energy and transmission projects. (Bridge Magazine)

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