FRAC SAND: Local officials in an eastern Minnesota county narrowly vote to become the first to ban frac sand mining there. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

POLICY:
• Clean energy advocates are optimistic that a major energy bill in Illinois will pass this week after key compromises are reached over demand charges and coal supports. (Midwest Energy News)
• Energy reforms moving through the Michigan legislature have split business groups and House Republicans over proposed changes to the state’s electric choice market. (MiBiz)

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SOLAR:
• An Iowa co-op plans a new net metering policy and demand charge in part to rebuff efforts to expand solar power in the area. (Midwest Energy News)
• A property developer plans to install a $600,000 rooftop solar system on a major office building in Cincinnati. (Cincinnati Business Courier)
• Officials in a Minnesota county reverse course and vote to approve a 28-acre solar project. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

EFFICIENCY: Illinois entrepreneurs rethink and redesign traditional water heaters that also cut buildings’ energy use. (Midwest Energy News) 

BIOFUELS: The U.S. EPA increases the quota for the amount of biofuel to be blended next year into gasoline and diesel supplies under the Renewable Fuel Standard. (Bloomberg News)

WIND: A planned 103-megawatt wind project in South Dakota has cleared the permitting phase. (Rapid City Journal)

PIPELINES:
• Dakota Access pipeline protesters plan to stay at their encampment in North Dakota despite federal officials giving them a Dec. 5 deadline to move to a designated area. (Minnesota Public Radio)
• The protesters will not be forcibly removed, though they may face violations for trespassing. (Reuters)
• The North Dakota sheriff leading the response to pipeline protesters defends officers’ actions using force against the crowds. (Associated Press)
• More than 30 protesters are arrested on trespassing charges after forming a prayer circle at a North Dakota mall. (Minnesota Public Radio)
• Concerns grow over President-elect Trump’s owning stock in the company developing the Dakota Access pipeline. (Associated Press)

OIL AND GAS:
• Clean energy groups are ramping up efforts to block natural gas infrastructure projects as renewable energy becomes economically competitive. (ClimateWire)
• A Minnesota oil refinery will have its fourth owner in six years after a planned $4.1 billion acquisition. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

GRID: DTE Energy plans a major project in southeast Michigan to improve grid reliability there. (MLive)

COAL:
• Michigan’s largest electric utility recently closed three coal units and plans to retire another eight by 2030, despite the outcome of the presidential election. (MLive)
• Unless Congress acts during the lame-duck session remaining this year, thousands of retired miners and their families would lose union-negotiated health benefits. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
• Ohio coal sales were down 31 percent last year, falling below $1 billion for the first time since 2007, though industry groups remain optimistic under a Trump presidency. (Columbus Dispatch)
• Rising coal prices have helped defuse a dispute between Peabody Energy and some of its creditors as the company moves through bankruptcy. (Reuters)

CYBERSECURITY: Michigan regulators look to develop rules designed to toughen utilities’ defenses against cyberattacks. (Associated Press)

COMMENTARY:
• An optimistic future for pipeline development under President-elect Trump is good news for North Dakota. (Bismarck Tribune)
• “For the good of the environment and Quad-City economy, Illinois General Assembly must, this week, ram through the Exelon bailout.” (Quad-City Times)
• Missouri has a chance to boost its economy by investing in its electric grid infrastructure. (St. Louis Business Journal)

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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