Midwest Energy News

Line 3 pipeline debate divides Minnesota Democrats

TRANSPORTATION: After years of fighting their own policy battles, ethanol and electric vehicle advocates in Minnesota are tentatively banding together against a shared enemy: fossil fuels. (Energy News Network)

GRID:
• Michigan officials explore the potential of importing more electricity to maintain reliability and resilience as coal plants close and more distributed resources are added to the grid. (Energy News Network)
• ComEd plans $7.6 billion in grid improvements that officials say will help accommodate data centers and electric vehicles, though consumer advocates raise concerns over rate increases. (Chicago Sun-Times)

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PIPELINES:
• The debate over the Line 3 pipeline
is dividing Minnesota Democrats between those who worry about spills and climate change and those more concerned about maintaining rural construction jobs.(New York Times)
• Weak oil demand and cheaper alternatives mean economics may be the biggest obstacle for the Keystone XL pipeline, experts say. (Omaha World-Herald)

POWER PLANTS:
• A proposed constitutional amendment in Ohio to ban foreign ownership of power plants and other “critical infrastructure” threatens further renewable energy development in the state, critics say. (Energy News Network)
• Wisconsin environmental groups file a legal challenge against state regulators’ approval of a 625 MW natural gas plant in Superior. (Wisconsin State Journal)

NUCLEAR:
• Maintaining Minnesota’s three aging nuclear reactors may be a key feature of Xcel Energy’s long-term emissions-reduction targets. (Star Tribune)
• A University of Wisconsin researcher discusses the effort to promote nuclear fusion as a potentially game-changing clean energy resource. (Capital Times)

POLICY: Indiana utilities now support a bill aimed at managing coal plant retirements after the most controversial provisions were removed by a state Senate committee. (Utility Dive)

SOLAR:
• A Michigan Senate committee will consider legislation again this week that would lift the cap on utility customer distributed generation projects and return to a net metering program. (Great Lakes Echo)
• After teens in a Minnesota community pushed for local climate action, they are now going door-to-door to promote solar power. (Yale Climate Connections)
• Local officials advance plans for a 16 MW solar project in eastern Indiana. (Richmond Palladium-Item)

COAL:
• Foresight Energy plans to close a southern Illinois coal mine that opened in 2009. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
• A Minnesota utility mulls the future of a North Dakota coal plant, which faces the same economic challenges as others across the country. (Star Tribune)
• The U.S. EPA proposes a consent decree to settle more than a decade of pollution violations against an Ohio coal plant. (WCPO)
• The decommissioning of a former coal plant in western Michigan is nearly complete. (WZZM)

COMMENTARY: A ballot initiative to ban fracking in Michigan has been stalled in court for years over signature collecting, which backers say is unconstitutional. (Bridge Magazine)

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