ILLINOIS: Four companies that own coal and gas plants in Illinois file a lawsuit to stop legislation passed in late 2016 that provides subsidies to Exelon’s struggling nuclear plants in Illinois. (Quad-City Times)

POLICY: As in Michigan, Ohio Republicans are back on a path to weaken the state’s renewable and efficiency standards despite clean energy support from those states’ Republican governors late last year. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

HYDRO:
• Separate research teams at the University of Michigan and Michigan State University are tackling engineering, social and environmental concerns associated with hydroelectric generation. (Midwest Energy News)
• Michigan’s network of aging dams that once supplied hydropower pose flood risks, though not to the scale of the worsening situation in Oroville, California. (Detroit Free Press)

WIND: A Wisconsin-based electric cooperative will begin purchasing 80 megawatts of wind energy from an Iowa project. (Wisconsin Ag Connection)

GRID:
• The Illinois Commerce Commission approves a plan by ComEd that allows companies and researchers to access anonymous energy usage data to improve grid efficiency. (Transmission & Distribution World)
• Xcel Energy joins a new “electric grid-centered intelligence community” to enhance access to cyber and physical security intelligence. (Transmission & Distribution World)

PIPELINES:
• The tribes looking to stop construction on the Dakota Access pipeline say in a new court filing that the Army Corps violated federal regulations when it recently granted a permit to finish the project. (Reuters)
• A Dakota Access protest camp faces challenges with cleaning up waste from the site as flooding looms. (Bismarck Tribune)
• A movement to divest from the financial institutions supporting the Dakota Access pipeline is growing. (Grist)

STORAGE: A new study suggests that residential energy storage can increase power consumption and undercut the environmental benefits of rooftop solar. (Utility Dive)

COAL: Murray Energy looks to intervene in a proposed settlement for an Ohio utility that would close two coal plants, saying it would hurt its business. (Dayton Business Journal)

RENEWABLES: Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback cosigns a letter from a bipartisan group of governors asking President Trump to support the development of wind and solar. (Greentech Media)

OIL AND GAS:
• North Dakota lawmakers reject a plan that would have directed more oil tax revenue to communities in the western part of the state. (Forum News Service)
• A Thailand-based developer delays a decision on constructing a major ethane cracker plant in eastern Ohio; environmental groups warn a surge in such facilities, spurred by fracking, will lead to air and water pollution. (Columbus Dispatch, DeSmog Blog)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: An Ohio State University researcher looks to solve the “chicken or the egg” problem with siting electric vehicle charging stations as part of a smart transportation program in Columbus, Ohio. (The Lantern)

RATES:
• Low prices for natural gas and renewables, along with greater energy efficiency efforts, bring the average share of energy costs per American household to an all-time low. (MinnPost)
• A new website helps Ohio ratepayers find the best deals on electricity and gas based on their energy usage and market conditions. (Columbus Dispatch)

COMMENTARY: Clean energy advocates are waiting for major investor-owned utilities in Wisconsin to follow co-ops and residents there in pursuing solar. (Midwest Energy News)

Andy Balaskovitz

Andy Balaskovitz

Andy has been a journalism fellow for Midwest Energy News since 2014, following four years at City Pulse, Lansing’s alt-weekly newspaper. He covers the state of Michigan and also compiles the Midwest Energy News daily email digest. Andy is a graduate of Michigan State University’s Journalism School, where he focused on topics covered by the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism and wrote for the Great Lakes Echo. He was the 2008 and 2009 recipient of the Edward Meeman Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Environmental Journalism at Michigan State.

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