Daily digest

Minnesota ranked among top states for grid modernization reforms

PIPELINES: A Michigan State University researcher says developers’ and the U.S. government’s approach to oil pipelines is an ongoing form of colonialism over Native Americans. (Midwest Energy News)

GRID: Minnesota is ranked as one of the top states nationally in pushing for grid modernization reforms. (Utility Dive)

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WIND:
• North Dakota House lawmakers reject plans for a long-term, statewide energy study, which was based on an effort to measure wind’s impact on coal. (Associated Press)
• 
Meanwhile, North Dakota legislators call on U.S. Sen. John Hoeven to repeal federal subsidies for wind energy they say are negatively affecting coal. (Forum News Service)
• Industry and elected officials say Kansas’s wind sector is poised for more growth. (Wichita Eagle)

SOLAR:
• Cook County, Illinois is developing a cooperatively owned solar program at 15 pilot sites around the county. (Chicago Tribune)
• While industry jobs are on the rise, advocates continue pushing for more favorable solar policies in Missouri. (KRCU)

EFFICIENCY: Illinois joins a coalition of 10 states intending to sue the Trump administration over what they say is the illegal suspension of rules to improve the energy efficiency of various products. (Reuters)

COAL:
• Peabody Energy, the nation’s largest coal producer, emerges from bankruptcy after reducing costs and slashing its debt load by more than $5 billion. (Associated Press)
• The U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that coal production ticked upwards in the second half of 2016, though a long-term slide is still predicted. (Utility Dive)
• U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio is increasingly hopeful that a permanent health care plan for retired coal miners and their widows can be approved before the end of the month. (The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register)
• The Illinois EPA approves a permit for Arch Coal to expand a mine in central Illinois. (WAND-TV)

OIL AND GAS: President Trump’s efforts to revive the coal industry are unlikely the stop the construction boom of natural gas plants in Ohio. (Associated Press)

BIOFUELS: Investigators determine that more than 300,000 gallons of ethanol were released during a March 10 derailment in Iowa, though the cause of the fiery incident is not yet known. (Associated Press)

UTILITIES: Ameren Illinois plans to spend $9 million upgrading its East St. Louis operating center. (St. Louis Business Journal)

COMMENTARY: A Minneapolis Star Tribune columnist says Minnesota’s past leadership on clean energy has positioned the state as a leader even as the Trump administration moves to promote fossil fuels.

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