POLICY: A six-hour hearing Wednesday over a proposed massive energy bill in Illinois leaves clean energy groups divided due to the complex and vast mosaic of interests at play. (Midwest Energy News)

TRANSPORTATION: Several universities from the Midwest are selected by the federal government to make automated driving technology more fuel- and energy-efficient. (Midwest Energy News)

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EMISSIONS: Maryland officials ask the U.S. EPA to crack down on 19 coal plants from five states — including Indiana and Ohio — whose emissions lead to air pollution farther east. (Baltimore Sun)

PIPELINES: A federal judge likely won’t decide until early next year whether to give the Dakota Access pipeline developer permission to build a contentious portion of the project. (Associated Press)

RENEWABLES: Clean energy businesses ask Ohio Gov. John Kasich to oppose efforts to continue a freeze on clean energy standards there. (Columbus Business First) 

EFFICIENCY: Three Midwestern cities — St. Louis, Des Moines and St. Paul — join a nationwide program to reduce energy costs, lower emissions and boost local economies through building-efficiency projects. (St. Louis Business Journal)

GRID: Federal authorities approve a permit for a transmission line to move hydropower from Canada to Minnesota. (Duluth News Tribune)

• A seven-megawatt solar project is set to come online early next month at the site of a former steel manufacturing site in Indiana. (Kokomo Tribune)
• Manufacturer First Solar plans to cut 1,600 jobs across its global workforce and idle an Ohio production facility for more than a year. (Toledo Blade)

FRAC SAND: Local officials in northeast Iowa vote to rezone nearly 750 acres of land to be used for frac sand mining. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

ECONOMY: Clean-energy sector jobs are expected to grow in Indiana, according to a new report. (WBOI)

• BP plans to lay off up to 80 employees at its northwest Indiana refinery amid a global slump in oil prices, the plant’s first significant cutbacks since the 1990s. (Northwest Indiana Times)
• Oil production in North Dakota continues to drop. (Bismarck Tribune)
• Crews are assessing the damage after a natural gas explosion kills one and injures several others in a central Illinois community. (Quad-City Times)
• North Dakota’s top oil and gas regulator and the head of the pipeline authority are confident they will remain in their posts under a new governors’ administration. (Bismark Tribune)

STORAGE: Grid operator MISO asks federal regulators to dismiss a complaint from an Indiana utility over energy storage rules. (RTO Insider)

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• The White House releases a “mid-century strategy” to slash carbon emissions 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050. (Washington Post)
• Climate advocacy groups report a spike in online donations following the election of Donald Trump. (Climate Central)

• Minnesota dairy farmers are embracing clean energy to make their operations run more sustainably. (St. Cloud Times)
• Michigan lawmakers should go back to the drawing board on energy legislation following Donald Trump’s election victory. (Michigan Capitol Confidential)
• Illinois energy legislation should boost efficiency spending. (State Journal-Register)

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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