BIOFUELS: Corn-based ethanol may be worse for the climate than gasoline while also converting grasslands and forests into cropland, according to a new study from a University of Wisconsin researcher. (Inside Climate News)

TRANSMISSION: Wisconsin is the latest Midwest state to consider legislation that would give incumbent utilities the right to build long-range transmission projects without competition from outside bidders. (Energy News Network)

OHIO: FirstEnergy executives pushed for a “cooperative” nominee to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio who was later reappointed by Gov. Mike DeWine while a corruption scandal was unfolding. (Ohio Capital Journal)

PIPELINES: Shutting down Line 5 would have modest effects on energy prices if the transition is managed properly, according to a new report commissioned by an environmental group. (Bridge Michigan)

CARBON CAPTURE:
• An Iowa Senate panel advances legislation that would remove the Iowa Utility Board’s ability to grant eminent domain rights to private companies, including those developing carbon capture pipelines. (Iowa Public Radio)
• The U.S. Department of Energy and a global mining company are funding a $6.2 million project to research the potential for carbon capture and storage at a proposed Minnesota nickel mine. (Star Tribune)

SOLAR:
• An Iowa Senate committee advances legislation that would limit rural solar projects to less productive farmland and require them to be at least 1,250 feet from the nearest landowner. (Iowa Public Radio)
• A developer agrees to shrink the land area of a proposed southwestern Ohio solar project by 20% while also increasing various buffers and setback distances in response to local opposition. (Dayton Daily News)
• Plans for a utility-scale solar project in eastern Iowa meet resistance from local planners before county officials consider the proposal next month. (Clinton Herald)
• A northern Michigan municipal utility approves an amended contract with a developer that will expand a solar project by 2 MW while also decommissioning a wind turbine on the property. (Traverse City Ticker)

OIL & GAS: The U.S. frac sand market has been turned upside down after being overbuilt and over-supplied, with prices reaching record levels as oil drillers race to boost output. (Reuters)

COAL: A company plans to buy a 1,000 MW Indiana coal plant and sell power to the previous owner under an agreement that requires the new owner to assume environmental and decommissioning costs. (Inside Indiana Business)

WIND:
• MidAmerican Energy’s proposal for a 400 MW wind project in southwestern Iowa faces pushback from local landowners. (Iowa Public Radio)
• Xcel Energy plans to repower 134 wind turbines that began operating in southwestern Minnesota in 2010. (The Globe)
• An Indiana city seeks $500,000 remaining in a county wind farm economic development account to purchase land to build an industrial spec building. (Herald Bulletin)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: General Motors will extend until early April a production halt to its Chevrolet Bolt following a recall but the company plans to resume retail sales. (Reuters)

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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.