Midwest Energy News

Financial problems mount for coal giant Murray Energy

COAL:
• Ohio-based coal giant Murray Energy failed to make multiple payments to lenders this week and may be headed toward default. (Bloomberg)
• The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency will host a public listening session next week on forthcoming coal ash pond regulations. (Herald-News)

STORAGE: Iowa funds research into sodium batteries as a lack of grid capacity begins to constrain wind development in parts of the state. (Energy News Network)

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OHIO: Attorney General Dave Yost is investigating new allegations that people circulating petitions for a statewide referendum on a nuclear bailout law are being offered cash to quit the campaign and sell signed petitions to opponents. (Dayton Daily News) 

OIL & GAS:
• Groups tied to the Koch network push back against Minnesota’s move to follow California’s lead in adopting a pair of clean car standards. (DeSmog Blog)
• An Ohio family suffers as serious Clean Air Act violations at a nearby well pad dating back to 2016 remain unresolved. (E&E News)

SOLAR:
• A suburban Chicago school district breaks ground on a project to install three of the largest solar arrays at any Illinois public school. (Daily Herald)
• Iowa’s Grinnell College signs an agreement to buy power from a planned 4 MW solar array that will provide about 30% of its electricity needs. (Radio Iowa)
• Indiana utility regulators express confidence in a proposed $175 million solar farm by deferring the project to local regulators. (Inside Indiana Business)
• A Wisconsin Humane Society hosts a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new solar array that is the largest in its county. (Burnett County Sentinel)
• A solar developer seeks endorsement from local officials to build a 64 MW solar project just north of Columbia, Missouri. (KBIA)
• A program that provides solar energy assistance to low-income households will be the focus of an upcoming forum in southern Minnesota. (Mankato Free Press) 

UTILITIES:
• Xcel Energy is looking at the potential of hydrogen, modular nuclear and other technology to help it eliminate carbon emissions by 2050. (MPR News)
• Alliant Energy announces a partial settlement agreement over proposed rate increases in advance of a planned public hearing next week. (Fox 28, Hawk Eye) 

POLICY: Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly announces a new statewide energy plan while attending a state renewable energy conference. (KSNT-TV, WIBW-TV)

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BIOFUELS:
• An Ohio ethanol plant temporarily halts production and lays off employees as farmers struggle with bad weather and trade war fallout. (Coshocton Tribune)
• The Trump administration is expected to announce several changes today aimed at promoting corn- and soybean-based biofuels. (Bloomberg)

ACTIVISM: Iowa City is planning road closures and parking bans in anticipation of an anti-coal march today attended by climate activist Greta Thunberg. (The Gazette)

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