Midwest Energy News

Enbridge submits permits for Great Lakes pipeline tunnel

EFFICIENCY: Missouri’s consumer advocate asks regulators to suspend utility energy efficiency programs as a way to reduce customer bills during the coronavirus pandemic, but supporters of the programs say it’s an excuse to weaken the state’s efficiency law. (Energy News Network)

PIPELINES: Enbridge submits permit applications to state and federal regulators to build a tunnel for the Line 5 pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac as critics ask officials to delay the process due to the coronavirus. (Detroit News)

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CLEAN ENERGY: Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker taps the former director of the state’s Environmental Protection Agency to craft legislation for 100% renewables by 2050, but the plan’s timeline is unclear. (Rockford Register-Star)

UTILITIES:
• NextEra Energy is exploring a potential acquisition of Kansas utility Evergy, following reports that AEP and Ameren are also interested. (Utility Dive)
• The municipal utility in Springfield, Illinois, is not saying what led to a breakdown at its coal plant that cost the city $1 million and forced it to buy power on the market. (Illinois Times)

BIOFUELS:
• One of the largest U.S. ethanol producers will idle three plants in Iowa and South Dakota and delay opening a facility in Indiana due to COVID-19 challenges. (Sioux City Journal)
• An Ohio ethanol company considers transitioning operations to produce industrial alcohol for hand sanitizer and other medical disinfectants. (Dayton Business Journal)
• A federal appeals court will not rehear a case involving three refineries’ exemptions to biofuel blending mandates, increasing the chances that few refineries will get waivers in the future. (E&E News, subscription)

SOLAR: Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz says solar manufacturers may be allowed to return to work as he allows some businesses to reopen while extending the state’s stay-at-home order. (KARE) 

WIND: A local official in metro Cleveland submits a letter co-signed by more than a dozen local leaders in support of a planned offshore wind project in Lake Erie. (Cleveland.com)

NUCLEAR: An undisclosed number of COVID-19 cases have been documented at a Michigan nuclear plant during its latest refueling outage. (Toledo Blade)

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CLIMATE: Michigan State University hosts a webinar about the school’s climate change efforts as part of a national teach-in on local climate action. (The State News)

COMMENTARY: Indiana ratepayers could pay an additional $126 million until 2026 to keep two uneconomic coal plants open as a result of a bill passed this year, analysts say. (Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis)

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