OIL & GAS: Minnesota regulators rip into gas utilities for their role in skyrocketing prices during February’s cold snap, saying it’s done lasting harm to the fuel’s reputation: “It has changed my worldview as to how natural gas fits into our energy [system] in Minnesota.” (Star Tribune)

ALSO:
• A Michigan researcher warns that, without good public policy, lower-income and minority communities could bear added financial burden as wealthier utility customers abandon gas and electrify their homes. (news release)
• Indigenous and environmental groups petition the federal government to require a supplemental environmental assessment for a proposed $700 million natural gas plant in northern Wisconsin. (WPR)
• North Dakota’s Board of University and School Lands argues in a legal brief that a new state law limiting the state’s ability to collect old oil and gas royalties still owed to the state is unconstitutional. (InForum)
• An oil company that waited more than five months to report the nation’s largest ever fracking wastewater spill in North Dakota agrees to pay more than $35 million in civil and criminal fines. (Associated Press)

PIPELINES:
Wild rice is the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit filed by the White Earth Band of Ojibwe against the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources that seeks to block the Line 3 pipeline using the novel “rights of nature” theory. (Star Tribune)
• An Iowa man is convicted of unlawful assembly and obstructing a public right of way for his role in a Line 3 protest in June. (Park Rapids Enterprise)
Indiana environmentalists raise concerns about a Kentucky company’s plan to build a gas pipeline under the Ohio River to bring out-of-state fuel to two proposed natural gas-fired power plants. (Indiana Environmental Reporter)
• A Missouri utility seeks a rehearing with the U.S. Court of Appeals to continue operating a St. Louis-area pipeline. (Missouri Times)

POLITICS: Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker expresses frustration with stakeholders over their inability to resolve differences in competing clean energy proposals and urges lawmakers to vote soon on a compromise. (Rockford Register Star)

OHIO: Ohio’s attorney general asks a judge to add two former FirstEnergy executives and former utilities commission chair Sam Randazzo as defendants in a state racketeering lawsuit. (Associated Press)

SOLAR:
• An Indiana city rebrands itself “the Solar City,” having installed 2.4 MW of solar at 24 community sites over the last four years. (Plain Dealer & Sun)
• A Des Moines, Iowa, school district installed more than 600 solar panels on an elementary school that now offset 70% of its energy costs. (We Are Iowa)
• A renewable developer is exploring an eastern South Dakota county as a possible location for a large solar power project. (WNAX)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• The reaction from Iowa to President Biden’s new goal of seeing that half of all new vehicles are electric by 2030: What about biofuels? (Iowa Capital Dispatch)
• In Minnesota, auto dealers welcome Biden’s electric vehicle target, saying it will be a stretch but they are “all-in for the coming electric age.” (WCCO)

CLIMATE: Wisconsin’s Republican-led legislature is putting up roadblocks for implementing a state task force’s climate action plan. (Journal Sentinel)

COAL: A Wisconsin student union is among the surprising reuses of decommissioned coal plants as the country moves toward cleaner energy. (Bloomberg)

CLEAN ENERGY: Former Michigan governor and current U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm returned to the state Thursday to tout the Biden administration’s clean energy goals. (Oakland Press)

Dan Haugen

Dan has two decades' experience working in print, digital and broadcast media. Prior to joining the Energy News Network as managing editor in December 2017, he oversaw watchdog reporting at the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, part of the USA Today Network, and before that spent several years as a freelance journalist covering energy, business and technology. Dan is a former Midwest Energy News journalism fellow and a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and mass communications from University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.