Midwest Energy News

Army Corps suspends pipeline program after Keystone XL ruling

PIPELINES: In response to a recent Keystone XL court ruling, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers suspends a program that has been used for decades to approve stream and wetland crossings for pipelines, power lines and other utility projects. (Associated Press)

ALSO:
• The Michigan Public Service Commission will accept public comments through May 13 on Enbridge’s request for the authority to build a tunnel for the Line 5 pipeline beneath the Straits of Mackinac. (Detroit News)
• Activists and authors Winona LaDuke and Bill McKibben discuss companies’ efforts to bolster pipelines in the Upper Midwest. (Rolling Stone)

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CLIMATE:
• Environmental advocates in Duluth, Minnesota, say their biggest obstacle to climate action is the local utility, Minnesota Power. (MinnPost)
• Microgrids and offshore wind energy are among new clean energy technologies the Great Lakes region is using to tackle climate change. (Pulitzer Center)

COAL:
• Residents and environmental advocates are skeptical about whether NIPSCO will thoroughly remediate a coal ash storage site along Lake Michigan. (WBOI)
• As power demand drops during the pandemic, many utilities are cutting back on coal power first, which bodes poorly for the already struggling industry. (Wall Street Journal, subscription)
• “Just about everything that can go wrong, has gone wrong for the coal industry,” says a coal industry analyst at Wood Mackenzie. (NPR) 

WIND: An Iowa wind turbine manufacturing plant suspends production to start enhanced testing after 28 employees test positive for COVID-19. (KCRG)

SOLAR:
• Michigan solar advocates raise concerns about hitting limits on distributed generation programs and harming the market for installers. (WMUK)
• A major solar project in Wisconsin is among large U.S. renewable energy projects seeing slight development delays due to COVID-19. (InsideClimate News)

UTILITIES: Minnesota Power reduces its rate increase request due to the economic uncertainty related to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Star Tribune)

GRID: The organization that oversees the U.S. electric grid says uncertainty from the pandemic “permeates an environment that is highly challenging even for the most prepared of industries.” (E&E News, subscription)

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BIOFUELS: An ethanol plant in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, will idle production and furlough 90 workers due to a “challenging operating environment.” (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

COMMENTARY:
• Investing in clean energy will help reduce the health burden for communities of color while also benefit Indiana’s economic recovery, says the president of the Indiana NAACP. (South Bend Tribune)
Tribal officials in Michigan say the Line 5 pipeline is the “biggest danger facing Michigan’s environment.” (Bridge)

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