Midwest Energy News

Minnesota court requires environmental study for proposed gas plant

POWER PLANTS: The Minnesota Court of Appeals rules that state regulators must consider the environmental impacts for a proposed natural gas plant in Superior, Wisconsin, dealing a setback to the project. (Duluth News Tribune)

CLEAN TECH: Utilities are increasingly trying to figure out how blockchain software can help secure their operations as more customer-owned generation comes on the grid. (Energy News Network)

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PIPELINES:
Attempts to double the capacity of the Dakota Access pipeline are rekindling opposition from tribal and environmental groups and raising questions among some state regulators. (Chicago Tribune)
• Tribal law experts say consultations required from the federal government on pipeline projects are routinely inadequate and inconsistent. (Grist)
• Enbridge retrieves debris that had been resting against the Line 5 pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac since September. (Associated Press)
• A federal judge will allow environmental and tribal groups to proceed with lawsuits challenging the Trump administration’s approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. (Associated Press)

TRANSPORTATION:
Iowa officials study the availability of electric vehicle charging stations and compressed natural gas along Interstate 80. (Radio Iowa)
• Minnesota propane advocates want state officials to consider liquid propane as an alternative to electric school busses for spending Volkswagen settlement funds. (Minneapolis Star Tribune) 

UTILITIES: A Michigan judge rules several aspects of DTE Energy’s long-term energy are flawed, including forecasts for renewable energy, leaving state regulators to decide on the utility’s plan in the coming weeks. (Michigan Radio)

COAL: Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio joins two other senators in calling for an investigation of a federal tax credit for refined coal. (Reuters)

RENEWABLES: A series of policy differences has made Minnesota a renewable energy leader over neighboring Wisconsin. (Wisconsin State Journal)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Regions of Ohio faced with automotive plant closures look to reposition as hubs for electric vehicle development. (Associated Press)
• An Indianapolis car-sharing program for electric vehicles ceases operations after four years. (Indianapolis Star)
• Minnesota considers a variety of policies aimed at boosting electric vehicle ownership. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

CLIMATE: Iowa City officials propose spending nearly $1 million next fiscal year on emergency efforts to fight climate change. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

WIND:
• A developer cancels plans for a 31-turbine wind project in western Michigan due to “stringent” restrictions, though local officials share a different account. (MLive)
• South Dakota regulators delay a decision on waiving a developer’s requirement to install low-noise attachments on wind turbine blades. (Watertown Public Opinion)

CLEAN ENERGY:
• Officials in Dane County, Wisconsin, say clean energy is part of the area’s broader plan to address environmental challenges with technology. (Madison Capital Times)
• Minnesota small businesses are leading the state’s growth in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

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BIOFUELS: A company completes the acquisition of two ethanol plants in South Dakota. (Watertown Public Opinion)

COMMENTARY: Energy News Network reporter Kari Lydersen says a recent trip to Antarctica drove home the “horror and tragedy of what humans have done to the earth with climate change.”

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