Midwest Energy News

Energy law bolsters solar development in coal-heavy southern Illinois

COAL: Southern Illinois farmers could lose their land as a coal mine expands and makes claims on a four-decade-old agreement between a government utility and local landowners. (Midwest Energy News)

• Ohio is among several states that has not set aside enough money to clean up former coal mines. (Climate Home News)
• Indiana environmental groups prepare for a future with less coal. (The Times of Northwest Indiana)

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• The Future Energy Jobs Act is spurring solar development in southern Illinois, an area traditionally known for coal mining. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
• Plans for a solar project at a contaminated Superfund site in Illinois run into financing difficulty. (Associated Press)
• Community solar policies have led to rapid growth for a small Minnesota start-up. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

POLICY: Iowa lawmakers advance a bill before before a crucial deadline last week that would gut utility funding for energy efficiency and possibly lead to fees on solar customers. (Midwest Energy News)

UTILITIES: Great Plains Energy is expected to complete its merger with Westar Energy in June. (Kansas City Business Journal)

BIOFUELS: Midwest senators warn President Trump that a proposal to reduce the costs for oil refiners to comply with federal biofuel standards would drive down biofuels production. (Quad-City Times)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Several Midwest utilities join others around the U.S. in asking Congress to lift the manufacturing cap on electric vehicle tax credits. (Utility Dive)

FRAC SAND: Wisconsin’s frac sand industry “has come roaring back” due to a surge in domestic oil production. (La Crosse Tribune)

• Minnesota-based ALLETE Clean Energy is building an 80-megawatt wind project in Montana. (Associated Press)
• A northern Indiana county considers stricter setbacks for wind projects. (Kokomo Tribune)

OVERSIGHT: A former lobbyist for Xcel Energy and Murray Energy who has advocated for less industry oversight is in line for the No. 2 spot at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (NPR)

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EFFICIENCY: A housing development near Iowa City is based on a communal-living concept with energy-efficient buildings. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

• A South Dakota businessman worries that county regulations allowing wind energy development would “transform the landscape.” (Watertown Public Opinion)
• A University of Michigan graduate student says the school should take more aggressive action to combat climate change. (Michigan Daily)

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