Midwest Energy News

Industry leaders optimistic about Trump biofuels plan

BIOFUELS: The Trump administration plans to restore ethanol demand by upholding higher blending standards in 2020 and removing barriers to ethanol sales. (Associated Press)

• Iowa and South Dakota biofuel industry officials are optimistic about the plan, though some say the “devil is in the final details” while others are indifferent about potential impacts. (Cedar Rapids Gazette, Watertown Public Opinion)
• Minnesota senator and presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar calls the plan a “vague promise” to undo the damage already done to farmers, and “too little, too late.” (Radio Iowa)

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POWER PLANTS: Wisconsin regulators say a planned 625 MW natural gas plant in Superior would have significant negative impacts on groundwater supplies. (Wisconsin Public Radio)

Wisconsin regulators are among officials grappling with policy questions amid the expansion of electric vehicles. (Wisconsin State Journal)
• Ford Motor Co. plans to make electric vehicle models more appealing for drivers than what’s currently on the market. (E&E News, subscription)

OIL & GAS: Industry officials see untapped potential in using North Dakota’s oil and gas supplies to support the petrochemical sector that makes plastics and fertilizers. (Bismarck Tribune)

ACTIVISM: An estimated 3,000 people attended a rally Friday in Iowa City featuring climate activist Greta Thunberg. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

A solar initiative started in 2017 in Bloomington, Indiana, now includes nearly 200 homeowners. (Indiana Public Media)
• More than 800 homes can be powered by a new solar project in central Indiana. (WTHR)

Utility customers in the MISO and PJM grid regions could save nearly $50 a year with more wind, solar and storage on the grid, according to a new report. (North American Windpower)
• A conservative clean energy advocate in Wisconsin says previous assumptions that renewables can’t compete on the market are “no longer correct.” (Madison Capital Times) 

PIPELINES: Pre-construction work on the Keystone XL pipeline is expected to start this month in South Dakota and Montana. (Rapid City Journal)

• A company plans to clean up and repurpose the site of a former coal plant in southwestern Illinois. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
• A northern Indiana city councilor tells federal regulators that dumping coal ash in unlined pits has devastated her community. (Times of Northwest Indiana)

WIND: Wind turbines are increasingly a fact of life for some Michigan communities, which also see more local revenue. (Yale Climate Connections)

BIOENERGY: Local officials in eastern Nebraska near a decision on whether to purchase a waste-to-energy plant that has previously been cited for numerous environmental violations. (Sioux City Journal)

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TRANSMISSION: A new facility in Iowa will train utility line workers from surrounding states. (Des Moines Register)

• An Ohio columnist says state voters would reject subsidies for nuclear and coal plants if they get the chance to vote on it. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
• Clean energy advocates say questions remain about Xcel Energy’s long-term energy plan, including its plans to build natural gas infrastructure and maintain a nuclear plant. (Union of Concerned Scientists)

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