Midwest Energy News

Federal judge orders environmental review of Dakota Access pipeline

PIPELINES: A federal judge orders an environmental review of the Dakota Access pipeline nearly three years after it started transporting oil, potentially opening the door for it to be shut down. (NPR)

SOLAR: Minnesota solar advocates say the coronavirus pandemic adds urgency for state lawmakers to increase the budget for a solar incentive program. (Energy News Network)

CLEAN TECH: A Minneapolis development plans to feature aquifer thermal energy, an alternative to natural gas that uses groundwater to heat and cool buildings. (MPR News)

BIOFUELS:
• The Trump administration will not appeal a court ruling that limits its use of waivers for small oil refiners from biofuel blending requirements. (Reuters)
• Minnesota biofuels advocates welcome the administration’s decision, while the oil industry calls it an “astonishing” blow to small refineries. (Star Tribune)
• The dispute is not over, though, as oil companies plan to continue legal challenges. (E&E News, subscription)

UTILITIES: Minnesota utilities have plans to sequester critical power plant employees on site if needed. (Star Tribune)

OIL & GAS:
• The oil price war and uncertainty from the coronavirus mean serious challenges for North Dakota’s oil and gas industry. (Washington Post)
• North Dakota regulators plan to give companies more flexibility to temporarily idle wells as low oil prices drive down production. (Bismarck Tribune)
• An economic development agreement is reached for an Ohio ethane cracker plant that uses natural gas drilling byproducts to produce raw material for plastic products. (Associated Press)

POLICY: The $2 trillion stimulus package passed by the Senate late Wednesday does not include funding for oil reserve purchases or clean energy and emission-reduction measures. (Grist)

COAL: A power plant at the University of North Dakota burns its last shipment of coal. (Grand Forks Herald)

TRANSMISSION: Some Missouri landowners are upset that agents seeking to survey their land for the Grain Belt Express transmission project are doing so during the coronavirus pandemic. (KCUR)

COMMENTARY: “If not coal, then what?” the head of a coal industry group responds to an op-ed from a former North Dakota lieutenant governor questioning the future of coal. (Bismarck Tribune)

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