SOLAR: A Minnesota school district will install solar panels on all of its buildings as a way to cut down on electricity costs. (Farmington Independent)

RESEARCH: A Minnesota House panel recommends against using state lottery money to fund climate change and energy efficiency research projects. (Minnesota Public Radio)

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COAL: Grid operator MISO projects more coal plant closures than originally expected to comply with the Clean Power Plan. (EnergyWire)

The Obama administration releases nearly $66 million for struggling coal communities to diversify their economies, retrain the workforce and attract new investment. (Reuters)
Peabody Energy tells the state of Illinois that it has the $92 million to cover the costs of mining cleanup. (Northern Public Radio)
Communities in Indiana also face uncertainty over coal mining cleanup amid Peabody’s potential bankruptcy. (Public News Service)
Two cities’ investment in the Prairie State Energy Campus will not be affected by Peabody’s selling its share of the facility. (Kane County Chronicle)
Springfield, Illinois officials sign a new coal contract with a local utility, though a competitor cries foul that its offer was not taken seriously. (Springfield Journal-Register)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: Legal experts say the federal rules would likely be upheld if Merrick Garland is appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court. (EnergyWire)

• Industry officials in Ohio are optimistic that market conditions will improve in 2017. (Columbus Dispatch)
• In response to numerous accidents in recent years, the federal government moves to strengthen safety rules for the country’s natural gas transmission network. (Associated Press)
• The developer behind the Keystone XL project buys a pipeline company for $10.2 billion, making it a “major force” in distributing U.S. natural gas. (New York Times)
DTE Energy will invest $1.4 billion in natural gas pipeline infrastructure in Michigan over the next five years. (Utility Dive)
Officials in North Dakota explore the potential for expanding natural gas infrastructure to towns that don’t have access. (Bismarck Tribune)
“Keep It In The Ground” protesters organize in Milwaukee against federal oil and gas leases. (Wisconsin Gazette)

• Kansas regulators disagree over how future rate cases should draw revenue to replace aging energy infrastructure. (Topeka Capital-Journal)
Kansas regulators also delayed a decision on a utility’s request to raise its transmission tariff by about $4 per month on the average residential bill. (Topeka Capital-Journal)
Two schools in Flint, Michigan close after an animal causes damage to a power substation. (MLive)

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BIOFUELS: A group of independent refiners asks the U.S. EPA to shift the responsibility of complying with federal biofuel mandates onto blenders. (Platts)

FINANCE: A survey of rural bankers across Midwest and Plains states suggests low energy commodity prices are helping paint a slightly brighter economic picture. (Associated Press)

CORRECTION: An item in Thursday’s digest about a proposed solar moratorium in South Dakota included an incorrect link. Here is the story.

Andy compiles the Midwest Energy News digest and was a journalism fellow for Midwest Energy News from 2014-2020. He is managing editor of MiBiz in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and was formerly a reporter and editor at City Pulse, Lansing’s alternative newsweekly.

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