PIPELINES: Canada’s natural resources minister says the country is preparing to “invoke whatever measures we need” to keep Line 5 operating in the Straits of Mackinac, which he called “nonnegotiable.” (Detroit Free Press)

ALSO:
• Appeals court justices press federal regulators on the level of scrutiny given to a company’s claims about the need for a new gas pipeline in the St. Louis area.  (S&P Global)
• Nearly 400 environmental and tribal rights groups demand that President Biden halt construction on the Line 3 pipeline, calling it an “urgent threat” to Minnesota waters. (Common Dreams)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join Pulitzer Center grantees Tony Briscoe, Kari Lydersen, and Sandra Svoboda with Kimberly Hill Knott and Duke Peltier as they discuss climate change in Great Lakes communities, today at 5 p.m. CT. Register here.*** 

COAL ASH: An environmental group claims an Ameren coal plant is discharging toxic coal ash pollutants into the Mississippi River near St. Louis in violation of the Clean Water Act. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

OHIO:
• A federal judge dismisses a case that FirstEnergy and a contractor brought against a former auditor and whistleblower who disclosed confidential information about HB 6. (Cleveland.com)
• Multiple bills to fully repeal HB 6 appear politically impossible as state lawmakers likely target $1 billion in subsidies for two nuclear plants. (RTO Insider, subscription)
• FirstEnergy names Steven Strah as its new CEO after he served in an interim role since October in the fallout of the HB 6 scandal. (Reuters)

FOSSIL FUELS: North Dakota is among fossil fuel-dependent states considering financial relief policies for the industry, though analysts say the moves could take away millions in funding for critical services. (E&E News, subscription)

SOLAR: Nearly 400 homeowners associations in central Indiana have full or partial prohibitions on residential solar installations, according to a clean energy advocacy group. (Indianapolis Star)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• U.S. House Democrats introduce legislation to provide $6 billion to the U.S. Postal Service to buy tens of thousands electric delivery vehicles, which could benefit an Ohio EV manufacturer. (Reuters)
• Racine, Wisconsin, has used more than $8 million in Volkswagen settlement funds to replace diesel-powered public transportation buses with electric models. (Racine Journal TImes)

RENEWABLES: More than two-thirds of interconnection requests with grid operator PJM last year were for planned wind and solar projects. (RTO Insider, subscription)

EMISSIONS: Missouri’s attorney general is leading a coalition of Republican states suing the Biden administration over a directive to calculate a social cost of carbon that would be used in future environmental regulations. (Kansas City Star)

WIND: Plans for the second phase of an eastern Michigan wind project call for 21 turbines with a generating capacity between 2.6 and 6 MW each. (Huron Daily Tribune)

BIOFUELS:
• A Minnesota House committee advances a bill that would require gasoline sold to include at least a 15% ethanol blend by 2026. (Mankato Free Press)
• U.S. senators Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota urge the Biden administration to deploy $13 billion in targeted aid for the biofuels industry that was included in a December stimulus bill. (Brownfield)
• Industry advocates push for in-state biodiesel plants in Nebraska as global demand for soybeans increases. (NTV)
• Nebraska researchers find that gasoline blended with 30% ethanol is safe to use in non-flex-fuel vehicles. (Associated Press)

OIL & GAS: North Dakota regulators will hold a public hearing this month on plans to repurpose a crude oil gathering pipeline into a transmission pipeline. (Minot Daily News)

COMMENTARY:
• A tribal attorney says the Line 3 pipeline is a “Keystone clone” that violates Indigenous rights, and urges President Biden to step in and halt its replacement and expansion. (Minnesota Reformer)
• Ohio lawmakers have routinely pushed back against clean energy reforms that would help diversify and decentralize the state’s power grid, a clean energy advocate says. (Cincinnati Enquirer)

Andy Balaskovitz

Andy Balaskovitz

Andy has been a journalism fellow for Midwest Energy News since 2014, following four years at City Pulse, Lansing’s alt-weekly newspaper. He covers the state of Michigan and also compiles the Midwest Energy News daily email digest. Andy is a graduate of Michigan State University’s Journalism School, where he focused on topics covered by the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism and wrote for the Great Lakes Echo. He was the 2008 and 2009 recipient of the Edward Meeman Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Environmental Journalism at Michigan State.