COAL: University of North Dakota researchers are studying the potential for extracting and processing rare earth elements from lignite coal, potentially buoying the state’s lignite mining industry. (Prairie Public News)

• MidAmerican Energy is working with wind turbine maker Vestas to determine the root cause of four broken blades over the past year. (Utility Dive)
• The wind industry has pumped $100,000 into a Kansas state Senate race where the incumbent Republican has railed against wind energy. (E&E News, subscription)

OIL & GAS: A North Dakota lawmaker says using $16 million in federal pandemic relief funding for hydraulic fracturing grants instead of “addressing the public health needs of the citizens while this virus peaks is irresponsible.” (InsideClimate News)

OHIO: Democrats criticize Republican leaders for failing to repeal or revamp the state’s power plant subsidy law more than three months after former House Speaker Larry Householder was indicted on federal corruption charges. (Columbus Dispatch)

UTILITIES: Environmental groups back an eastern Iowa utility’s plan to retire three coal plant units but want to see more renewable energy displace the power. (Muscatine Journal)

SOLAR: Ameren Missouri announces plans for a 91-acre solar project about an hour west of St. Louis. (St. Louis Business Journal)

EMISSIONS: A carbon price in grid operator PJM’s territory would be a cheaper way to reduce carbon emissions over the next decade compared to a “hodgepodge of state and local clean energy policies,” a consultant’s report says. (RTO Insider, subscription)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Fiat Chrysler plans to launch an electric version of its Ram pickup truck, adding to an increasingly competitive market. (Detroit Free Press)

• Underground superconducting power cables encased in insulated jackets being installed in Chicago could change ComEd’s power distribution network while protecting against natural and man-made disasters. (E&E News, subscription)
• MISO expects adequate power supplies for the upcoming winter but the grid operator says unexpected outages combined with high demand could potentially pose challenges. (RTO Insider, subscription)

CLEAN TECH: A Madison, Wisconsin, startup raises $3.5 million in private capital to develop solar-powered weather stations used across several industries to identify risk. (WisconsinInno)

COMMENTARY: Federal stimulus funding for advanced energy would boost Michigan’s economy and generate a significant return on investment, an advanced energy industry group says. (Energy News Network)

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.