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UTILITIES: Minnesota regulators approve Xcel Energy’s plan to retire units at a large coal plant by 2026, asking it to pursue renewables and rejecting plans for a natural gas plant to replace some of the generation. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

SOLAR: A new mapping tool that shows areas in Chicago suitable for community solar installations is sparking interest among area planners. (Midwest Energy News)

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• Questions remain over what will happen to a Kansas coal plant if regulators approve a planned $12 billion utility acquisition. (Lawrence Journal-World)
• Electric-sector coal consumption in 2016 is projected to be the lowest annual total since 1984, analysts say. (Platts)

• Scientists warn of the “moral hazard” surrounding atmospheric carbon removal and say it could delay critical cuts to emissions while “tacitly giving people license to pollute.” (Climate Central)
• Major fossil fuel companies rank poorly in taking responsibility for their greenhouse gas emissions and moving effectively to confront climate change. (InsideClimate News)

RENEWABLES: All of the new electricity capacity brought online in the U.S. in August came from wind and solar. (SNL / Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis)

ELECTRIC CHOICE: Michigan school districts say proposed energy legislation that restricts the customer choice market could cost them $17 million. (WWMT-TV)

• Celebrities rally in support of a documentary filmmaker who was arrested while filming protesters who shut down oil pipelines from Canada to the United States. (Reuters)
• Two federal agencies are at odds over the depth and need for federal climate reviews related to a proposed natural gas pipeline through Ohio. (Greenwire)

BIOFUELS: Co-owners of an Indiana biodiesel plant plead guilty to defrauding the federal renewable fuels and tax credit program. (Reuters)

• A malfunction at a natural gas well in North Dakota caused a gas leak for roughly nine hours before it was stabilized. (Forum News Service)
Oil production in North Dakota drops below 1 million barrels per day for the first time since April 2014. (Associated Press)

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POLITICS: A conservative nonprofit group will spend $1 million in the next few weeks to help elect Republicans who support clean energy. (Reuters)

• Democracy Now! anchorwoman Amy Goodman was “clearly acting as a reporter” while documenting protests of the Dakota Access pipeline and charges against her should be dropped. (Rolling Stone)
• “Policy uncertainty is the reason Illinois has such a small solar industry and a lot of potential.” (Chicago Tribune)

Andy Balaskovitz

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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