Midwest Energy News

Judge upholds ruling blocking Keystone XL environmental permit

PIPELINES: A federal judge upholds a ruling against the Keystone XL pipeline but revises it to allow a disputed federal permitting program for stream and wetland crossings to be used again for electric transmission projects. (Reuters)

ALSO:
• Joe Biden’s campaign doesn’t respond to questions about his position on the Line 3 pipeline project in Minnesota, which several of his former primary challengers opposed. (MinnPost)
• An environmental group in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula will host a virtual meeting tonight with a tribal official and a retired federal wildlife biologist on permitting for the Line 5 pipeline. (WLUC)

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OIL & GAS:
• The Trump administration moves to block a Washington state law that imposed safety restrictions on oil transported by rail from the Bakken region. (Associated Press)
• The Mayo Clinic’s investment in a Texas oil and gas firm loses more than $45 million in the first quarter due to the pandemic. (Rochester Post Bulletin)

COAL:
• North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum expresses disappointment at the planned closing of Great River Energy’s 1,151 MW Coal Creek Station plant, vowing a “path forward … that preserves high-paying jobs.” (Utility Dive)
• The parent company of two North Dakota ethanol plants that use steam and water from Coal Creek is evaluating its next steps. (Bismarck Tribune)

WIND: The first turbine is installed at a 600 MW wind project in Missouri and Kansas that the developer says will be operational next year. (Joplin Globe)

SOLAR:
• County officials in central Iowa plan to introduce an ordinance allowing for more widespread use of solar energy on agricultural land, which could be a model across the state. (Fort Dodge Messenger)
• A Purdue University-affiliated solar company installs solar projects on Indiana farms to help offset power costs. (Inside Indiana Business)

NUCLEAR: The future of Exelon’s Illinois nuclear plants is unclear as state lawmakers are unable to meet to consider plans of withdrawing from PJM’s capacity market. (RTO Insider, subscription)

OVERSIGHT: Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers’ most recent appointment to the state’s Public Service Commission could build support for clean energy projects. (Shepherd Express)

EMISSIONS: Declines in traffic and industrial activity during the pandemic has lowered nitrogen dioxide emissions in the Twin Cities. (WCCO)

***SPONSORED LINK: Green Energy Ohio invites you to a virtual conversation about Clean Energy in the Age of Coronavirus, May 21 at noon EDT. Featuring ENN reporter Kathiann Kowalski and Dan Gearino from InsideClimate News. Register today!***

UTILITIES: Madison, Wisconsin-based utility Alliant Energy reports a 5% decline in sales due to the pandemic, though first quarter profits are up compared to the same time last year. (Wisconsin State Journal)

COMMENTARY: A Minnesota solar installer says pandemic stimulus funds should be directed at clean energy to create jobs, bolster rural economies and resolve air pollution disparities for low-income communities. (MinnPost)

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