RENEWABLES: A $3.6 billion wind energy investment is helping Iowa’s largest utility towards a goal of producing 100 percent of its energy from renewables. (Associated Press)

SMART GRID: Why rural electric cooperatives are uniquely positioned to help lead the transition to a smarter grid by being flexible and ready to try new technologies. (Midwest Energy News)

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SOLAR: As a decision draws near, solar advocates urge Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb to veto legislation that would phase out net metering by 2022. (Terre Haute Tribune Star)

UTILITIES: FirstEnergy says it is hopeful about receiving state and federal support for its struggling nuclear and coal plants, but that it still plans to divest its merchant generation and become a fully regulated company by mid-2018. (RTO Insider)

COAL: While a deal has been reached to fund retired coal miners’ health benefits, questions remain about funding pensions. (Ohio Valley ReSource)

PIPELINES:
• Iowa law enforcement officials are investigating another suspected arson targeting the Dakota Access pipeline. (Sioux City Journal)
• North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum asks the Trump administration for a $38 million reimbursement for the costs of dealing with Dakota Access pipeline protests. (Associated Press)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A General Motors executive predicts the company will be the first to make a profit off of electric vehicles. (Phys.org)

CLEAN ENERGY:
• A resort owner in northern Michigan is awarded for his 25-year commitment to clean energy and conservation projects. (Traverse City Record-Eagle)
• Minnesota stands “near the top” of the country for green-building practices. (Finance & Commerce)
• A Minnesota wastewater treatment facility is praised for its onsite solar and bioenergy systems. (KNSI)

TRANSPORTATION: President Trump says he would consider raising gasoline and diesel fuel taxes to help pay for a major infrastructure plan. (Associated Press)

POLITICS:
• Conservatives are increasingly divided over energy policy, fossil fuels, climate change and decentralizing the U.S. power grid. (DeSmog Blog)
• A bipartisan budget deal reached in Congress avoids steep cuts for the U.S. EPA and renewable energy programs sought by the Trump administration. (E&E News)

EFFICIENCY: An Iowa county is recognized by a national organization for its energy efficiency efforts. (Sioux City Journal)

COMMENTARY:
• An Illinois state senator says new energy legislation passed last year will make the state a leader in renewable energy generation. (Peoria Journal Star)
• A Michigan-based advocacy group says cities will be the ones to lead the clean energy transition as the Trump administration ignores climate change. (Bridge Magazine)

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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