Midwest Energy News

Enbridge denies report questioning Line 5 spill liability

ILLINOIS: A federal investigation into Illinois’ largest power companies’ lobbying activities is widely seen as having torpedoed chances of passing new statewide clean energy legislation. (Energy News Network) 

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Minnesota utilities re-examine demand charges to prevent them from dramatically skewing bills of businesses that offer fast-charging electric vehicle stations. (Energy News Network)

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PIPELINES:
• Enbridge denies a report’s findings that it would not necessarily be liable for potential oil spill cleanup costs in the Straits of Mackinac. (Bridge Magazine)
• A spill last week from the Keystone Pipeline hardens landowner opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline expansion. (Reuters)
• Tar sands oil spilled from the Keystone Pipeline into wetlands is a “worst-case scenario” for cleaning up, researchers say. (Vice)
• Legislation involving pipeline protesters appears to be more prominent than bills to prevent oil spills. (The New Republic)

COAL: A historian says coal CEO Robert Murray is “one of the last of these eccentric, bombastic characters that the coal fields had produced over the generations.” (E&E News, subscription)

OIL & GAS: The North Dakota Supreme Court hears legal arguments from opponents of an oil refinery near Theodore Roosevelt National Park. (Bismarck Tribune)

SOLAR:
• A township in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula establishes a committee to focus on the future of solar power in the area. (Escanaba Daily Press)
• A solar ordinance in southwestern Michigan is narrowly upheld by voters, likely leading to the development of a 200-acre project. (Sturgis Journal)

CLEAN ENERGY: Voters in Ann Arbor, Michigan, approve a $1 billion school bond proposal that includes energy efficiency upgrades and solar power. (Michigan Daily)

CLIMATE:
• Researchers say individual energy-saving actions are worth promoting, but widespread change is needed to address climate change. (National Catholic Reporter)
• Officials in Ann Arbor, Michigan, declare a “climate emergency” with a goal to be carbon-neutral by 2030. (Michigan Radio)
• Wisconsin is among two dozen states moving forward with renewable energy goals as the Trump administration formally withdraws from the Paris climate agreement. (Wisconsin Public Radio)

RENEWABLES: The Southwest Power Pool, a grid area spanning from Texas to the Canadian border, anticipates a large-scale build-out of wind and solar due largely to economics rather than a “clean energy ethos.” (E&E News, subscription)

EFFICIENCY: FirstEnergy plans to file a proposal with Ohio regulators to decouple the company’s revenues from the amount of electricity used by customers. (Utility Dive)

COMMENTARY:
• Advocates say Enbridge has taken a “scorched-earth strategy” in court and has a “playbook of distraction and deception” to preserve the continued operation of the Line 5 pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac. (Bridge Magazine)
• A free-market advocacy group in Michigan says the state’s two largest utilities have inadequate decommissioning plans for their anticipated large-scale solar development. (Alpena News)

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