Midwest Energy News

Indiana coal ‘bailout’ bill would harm utility customers, groups say

COAL: Consumer advocates and environmental groups say proposed Indiana legislation to bail out coal plants would cost ratepayers and stall utility coal retirement plans. (Indianapolis Star)

ALSO:
• Xcel Energy says running two of its four coal generators on a part-time basis would save ratepayers money and reduce carbon emissions. (Star Tribune)
• A documentary screening this week focuses on neighbors of We Energies coal plants in eastern Wisconsin. (Racine Journal Times)
• Officials with Murray Energy decline to say why the company is no longer a member of the National Mining Association. (E&E News, subscription)

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TRANSPORTATION: Environmental groups and officials from Minnesota’s two largest cities oppose a state plan to spend up to $8.2 million in Volkswagen settlement funds on fossil fuel vehicles and equipment. (Energy News Network)

OIL & GAS:
• An investigation finds that radioactive contamination could be making oilfield workers sick as they have little training to deal with the materials. (Rolling Stone)
• North Dakota oil and gas production continues at a steady rate after record-setting numbers in October. (Star Tribune)

CLEAN ENERGY: Michigan is among states with initiatives focusing on how distributed energy resources can benefit ratepayers and utilities as solar, storage and electric vehicles become more common. (Utility Dive)

SOLAR:
• A new initiative aims to help 100 Wisconsin schools install solar projects. (WMTV)
• Solar installers see growing interest in projects in Dayton, Ohio. (Dayton Daily News)

WIND:
• County officials in southeastern Nebraska consider requests for more restrictive wind energy siting regulations. (Hastings Tribune)
• Residents speak out against plans for a wind project in northwestern Missouri. (St. Joseph News-Press)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• A combination of home chargers and public fast chargers will be critical for Michigan’s growth in electric vehicles, experts say. (Detroit Driven)
• Despite the debut of 45 electric vehicle models in the U.S. last year, sales declined by 6.8%. (Los Angeles Times)

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BIOFUELS: Corn-based ethanol’s role in U.S. energy independence and reducing greenhouse gas emissions is up for debate, though few question its economic and political importance in the Midwest. (Star Tribune)

NUCLEAR: An Illinois congressman receives support from other lawmakers for a plan to pay communities that store stranded nuclear waste. (E&E News, subscription)

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