RENEWABLES: In search of lower prices and more renewables, some municipal utilities in Nebraska are ending power-purchasing contracts with the state’s largest utility. (Midwest Energy News)

SOLAR:
• Ohio is among coal-dependent states where industry jobs are being displaced by solar jobs. (The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register)
• Iowa sees 61 percent growth in the number of solar jobs in the state over the past two years. (Radio Iowa)
• Minnesota-based Red Wing Shoe Co. plans to use two solar gardens to offset nearly a quarter of the company’s energy use. (Red Wing Republican Eagle)

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PIPELINES:
• A confidential Dakota Access pipeline memo shows the developer claiming the original proposed path north of Bismarck would have impacted minority communities more than a route through Standing Rock reservation. (InsideClimate News)
• U.S. Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota wants the FBI to explain why federal anti-terrorism law enforcement officers are investigating Dakota Access pipeline protesters. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
• A United Nations official who visited North Dakota believes Native Americans’ concerns about the Dakota Access pipeline have not been properly addressed. (Associated Press)
• The Dakota Access developer is seeking to shield documents from the public about spill response plans and other pipeline features that could be targeted by anti-pipeline activists. (Associated Press)
• The Trump administration says U.S.-made steel will not be required to construct the Keystone XL pipeline, though the order will apply to new and maintenance pipeline projects. (Bloomberg)

BIOGAS: A Wisconsin university isn’t seeing the payoff after investing in anaerobic digesters. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

OIL AND GAS:
• In Ohio, natural gas plants “are sprouting and are helping to render coal and nuclear power plants noncompetitive.” (Toledo Blade)
• The proposed 830-mile Rover gas pipeline receives water quality certification for construction in 18 counties from Ohio’s environmental agency. (Toledo Blade)
• Anticipating growth in horizontal fracturing, an Ohio agency streamlines the permitting process for new compressor stations. (Toledo Blade)

BIOFUELS: U.S. ethanol producers respond with an “unprecedented display of public disunity” as plans surface about changing the way the industry is regulated. (Bloomberg)

COAL:
• Retired coal miners in southern Illinois who voted for President Trump hope he returns the favor by protecting their health care and pension benefits. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
• An Ohio utility’s plan to close two coal plants in the southern part of the state has local officials on edge about the economic implications. (Dayton Daily News)

EMISSIONS: U.S. automakers are expected to reach an agreement with the Trump administration over rolling back emissions requirements for new cars and trucks. (New York Times)

COMMENTARY:
• An Illinois advocacy group says legislation signed by lawmakers last year puts the state on a path to lead on clean energy. (State Journal-Register)
• An Ohio editorial board says the U.S. “has an obligation” to ensure retired coal miners received pension and health care benefits they were promised. (Ashtabula Star Beacon)
• The St. Cloud Times in Minnesota weighs the benefits and drawbacks of granting Xcel Energy approval to bypass the regulatory process and replace coal-fired units with a major natural gas plant.
Crain’s Cleveland Business says Ohio lawmakers should “proceed with caution” when it comes to FirstEnergy’s request for zero-emissions credits for its nuclear plants.

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.

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