MINNESOTA: Gov. Mark Dayton signs a bill allowing Xcel Energy to build a natural gas plant to replace retiring coal units, saying it is needed for reliability and still aligns with the state’s clean energy goals. (Minnesota Public Radio)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Scientists at the Illinois Institute of Technology are designing a battery they hope will store more energy than conventional systems and can be “refueled” like a car’s gasoline tank. (Midwest Energy News)

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WIND: Clean energy advocates who have been critical of a Wisconsin utility’s commitment to clean energy are encouraged by the company’s plan for a new 66 megawatt wind project. (Midwest Energy News)

PIPELINES: A federal judge delays for up to a week a decision on whether to halt construction on the remaining portion of the Dakota Access pipeline. (Associated Press)

POLITICS: Coal company Murray Energy donated $1.5 million to political candidates, party committees and outside groups in the 2016 election cycle, a record high for the company that goes against industry lobbying trends. (OpenSecrets.org)

NUCLEAR: The Trump administration and changes at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission could mean more favorable treatment for nuclear plants low-carbon generation. (Greentech Media)

OIL AND GAS: After finalizing its buyout of Spectra Energy, Enbridge is now the dominant energy transportation and storage company in North America. (EnergyWire)

BIOFUELS: Billionaire investor Carl Icahn and the leading U.S. biofuel trade group will propose a deal to the Trump administration to revise the Renewable Fuel Standard. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

COAL: Peabody executives stand to reap tens of millions of dollars in stock bonuses under the company’s bankruptcy exit plan. (Reuters)

UTILITIES: Great Plains Energy agrees to file an application in Missouri for approval of its merger with Westar Energy after initially saying it wasn’t required to. (Kansas City Business Journal)

GRID: The U.S. added 15 gigawatts of capacity to the grid last year, mostly from new utility-scale wind and solar projects. (Utility Dive)

VOLKSWAGEN SCANDAL: The German automaker has paid $2.9 billion to buy back nearly 138,000 U.S. diesel vehicles through Feb. 18, court documents show. (Reuters)

COMMENTARY:
• “Nebraska conservatives don’t seem to have read the memo” about the benefits of wind energy development, the Lincoln Journal Star says.
• The Akron Beacon Journal says Ohio lawmakers should embrace FirstEnergy’s proposal for zero emission credits for its nuclear plants.
• A southwest Minnesota editorial board supports Gov. Mark Dayton’s signing a bill allowing for the construction of a new natural gas plant to replace coal units. (Marshall Independent)

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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