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 compiles the Midwest Energy News digest and was a journalism fellow for Midwest Energy News from 2014-2020. He is managing editor of MiBiz in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and was formerly a reporter and editor at City Pulse, Lansing’s alternative newsweekly.