Midwest Energy News

Midwest farmers praise EPA ethanol decision

BIOFUELS: The U.S. EPA approves year-round sales of higher blends of ethanol, drawing praise from corn growers and criticism from the oil industry and environmental groups. (New York Times)

ALSO: The move could expand Nebraska’s $3.5 billion ethanol industry by as much as 50%, according to the state’s new Ethanol Board administrator. (Lincoln Journal Star)

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SOLAR:
• A Nebraska entrepreneur receives a $200,000 federal grant to devise a solar array that doubles as a shade structure in a cattle feedlot. (Energy News Network)
• Utilities across the U.S. are proposing fees for customers who generate their own solar power, which critics say overcharge customers. (NPR)

CLIMATE:
• St. Paul, Minnesota’s climate action plan focuses on transportation as a key opportunity to reduce emissions, including increased transit, pedestrian and biking infrastructure. (Energy News Network)
• A Minnesota college student is among 21 youth plaintiffs in a lawsuit accusing the federal government of failing to address climate change. (Minnesota Public Radio)

POLICY: Grid operator PJM will study how to integrate varying state climate policies to prevent costs and emissions from “leaking” into neighboring states. (Energy News Network)

COAL: Recovering costs for the early closure of a Wisconsin coal plant could set a precedent for the state’s other utilities and how customers pay for the clean energy transition. (Wisconsin State Journal)

PIPELINES:
• Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer plans to meet with Enbridge this week over the future of Line 5, which she believes could be removed from the Straits of Mackinac in less than five years. (Detroit News)
• The Iowa Supreme Court denies an appeal by Iowa landowners who challenged the use of eminent domain for the Dakota Access pipeline. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

WIND: Wisconsin sees increased interest in wind development with shipping activity at its ports and utility plans. (Wisconsin Public Radio)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Crashes involving electric vehicles with lithium ion batteries are prone to re-igniting, causing a safety challenge for first responders. (Detroit Free Press)

OHIO:
• Environmental groups say Ohio is moving at an “unprecedented and troubling direction” with a bill to support nuclear and coal plants while weakening clean energy policies. (InsideClimate News)
• Opponents plan to rally against the bill today in Toledo. (Toledo Blade)

OIL & GAS: A tribe in North Dakota maintains that it has mineral rights beneath a river despite the state’s claim that it owns the riverbed. (Associated Press)

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UTILITIES: Xcel Energy issues nearly $140 million in bill credits to electric and gas customers based on 2017 federal tax cuts. (WCCO)

COMMENTARY: A columnist says Enbridge officials walked back comments overheard at a conference that decommissioning the Line 5 pipeline is a “nonstarter” in negotiations with state officials. (Detroit Free Press)

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