RENEWABLES: Indigenous and historic preservation advocates object to plans for a large-scale wind and solar project in southern Minnesota that would be near a historically sacred petroglyphs site. (Star Tribune)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Despite automakers’ major announcements on electric vehicle development, Michigan lags most states when it comes to incentives and infrastructure that could boost adoption. (Detroit Free Press)

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ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE: Chicago city planners should focus on the effects of air pollution on South Side residents as officials review the industrial corridor this year, a study says. (Chicago Sun-Times)

STORAGE: Battery storage is poised to play a key role in Iowa’s energy transition as more renewable energy comes online. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

COAL:
• The Biden administration will not appeal a Michigan judge’s ruling that allows a settlement between DTE Energy and the Sierra Club to proceed despite objections from the former Trump administration. (Bloomberg Law)
• Recent coal plant closure announcements from Duke Energy and Alliant Energy are the latest in a series of utility plans to transition from coal. (Utility Dive)
• An Indiana bill would create a pilot program aimed at reducing the cost on ratepayers as coal plants are retired earlier than planned. (Indiana Public Media)

PIPELINES:
• The owner of a small, historic South Dakota hotel says canceling the Keystone XL pipeline hasn’t directly affected her business despite claims by Gov. Kristi Noem. (Grand Forks Herald)
• Gov. Tim Walz tells a meeting of college activists that Line 3 is a “difficult situation,” but “it is not that I do not share your values that climate change is an existential threat.” (Mac Weekly)
• Canadian railway executives expect increased crude-by-rail shipments following the cancelation of a Keystone XL permit and increased uncertainty around Dakota Access. (S&P Global)

WIND: A North Dakota labor union wants state lawmakers to pass legislation with stronger local-hiring requirements on wind energy projects. (Bismarck Tribune)

SOLAR:
• Indiana legislation seeks to create more uniform tax rates for solar projects statewide. (Indiana Public Media)
• Wells Fargo plans to install 30 MW of onsite solar at nearly 100 of its retail and administrative offices in seven states, including Iowa. (PV Magazine)

OIL & GAS:
• Ohio regulators are investigating a site that was believed to be spewing produced water from a hydraulic fracturing operation. (Allegheny Front)
• Akron, Ohio, officials withdraw a proposal to lease underground oil and gas rights for wells just outside the city limits. (WKYC)
• A pipeline fracture causes roughly 10,500 gallons of crude oil to spill in western North Dakota. (Grand Forks Herald)

GRID: Nebraska lawmakers take testimony on a bill that would halt construction on certain rural transmission projects. (KNEB)

UTILITIES:
• Consumers Energy invested $700 million on gas, electric and renewable energy infrastructure in 2020 to support its clean energy plan, executives say. (S&P Global)
• MidAmerican Energy names its new president and CEO Kelcey Brown, who formerly worked as a utility executive and regulatory staffer in Oregon. (Des Moines Register)

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POLICY: Indiana Sen. Mike Braun plans to vote to confirm Michael Regan as President Biden’s pick to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, a departure from many of his GOP colleagues. (Indianapolis Star)

COMMENTARY:
• The widespread shift to electric vehicles will drive up electricity demand and could potentially be detrimental to the biofuels industry, says the head of an ethanol advocacy group. (Des Moines Register)
• A folk singer and playwright describes his experience as an oil patch worker in North Dakota nearly a decade ago. (New York Times)

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.