COAL: Missouri lawmakers advance legislation that would allow utilities to refinance debt on coal plants that retire early and save ratepayers money. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Minnesota utility officials say off-peak charging programs will be key to avoid overloading the grid as more electric vehicles are deployed. (Star Tribune)

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GRID:
• Environmental groups have long criticized the use of eminent domain for fossil fuel projects but it could be a key tool for developing renewable energy transmission. (Grist)
• Burying high voltage transmission lines along highways and railroads could unlock U.S. renewable energy potential, though significant challenges remain. (Canary Media)
• Nearly two dozen new transmission projects could support a 50% increase in U.S. wind and solar generation, according to a report from clean energy advocates. (E&E News, subscription) 

OIL & GAS: A large labor union issues a report claiming a Minnesota oil refinery is becoming less safe for workers, citing multiple oil, gas and chemical releases. (Star Tribune)

PIPELINES:
• A federal judge orders the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide an update by Monday on its timeline for completing an environmental review of the Dakota Access pipeline and whether it recommends shutting it down during that review. (Reuters)
• Nearly half of the respondents to a Wisconsin conservation group’s questionnaire say they would support the group’s formal opposition to rerouting the Line 5 pipeline. (Associated Press)

BIOFUELS: The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear a case involving small oil refineries’ ability to get exemptions from biofuel blending requirements. (Bloomberg)

WIND: Construction begins on a 77-turbine wind project in eastern Michigan. (Midland Daily News)

CLEAN TECH: North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum signs a bill that creates a fund for developing low-emission energy projects. (KXMA)

BATTERIES:
• A company plans to spend $13 million to add a new manufacturing line to its plant in Indiana for lithium ion battery production. (South Bend Tribune)
• An Ohio battery manufacturer aims to power its operations entirely with renewables in the next two years. (WTVG)

CLIMATE: Madison, Wisconsin officials launch a new climate action plan that calls for widespread LED streetlights, electric buses and clean energy job training. (Badger Herald)

COMMENTARY: More planning is required as coal plants are demolished and risk leaving behind a “literal and figurative mess,” an Ohio editorial board writes. (Marietta 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.