MINNESOTA: Calling it a “horrible precedent,” business groups join consumer advocates in opposing a bill that would go around state utility regulators and allow Xcel Energy to build a major natural gas plant to replace coal units. (Midwest Energy News)

• A new online mapping tool developed by a Michigan nonprofit has identified dozens of brownfield sites in the Upper Peninsula with the potential to develop hundreds of megawatts of commercial scale solar. (Midwest Energy News)
• The city council in Madison, Wisconsin votes to provide a $35,000 loan to help a local grocery store install solar panels. (Wisconsin State Journal)

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• A proposed natural gas pipeline through Ohio is at the heart of an interagency rift between the U.S. EPA and FERC over climate reviews. (Greenwire)
• In his first meeting chairing the state’s Industrial Commission, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum wants to see a more streamlined process for reporting oil spills that makes data more accessible to the public. (Forum News Service)

• Ohio joins a dozen other states in a lawsuit against the Obama administration’s new stream-protection rules affecting coal mining activity. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
• Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introduces a bill to protect the health benefits for retired coal miners whose companies have declared bankruptcy in recent years. (Associated Press)
• A coal plant closing in southeast Michigan is bittersweet for the community, where leaders are concerned about lost tax revenue. (Detroit News)

• The Dakota Access pipeline developer files a motion to block the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from doing an environmental study of the project. (Reuters)
• Standing Rock Sioux Tribe leaders want to use a break in the winter weather to clear out and evacuate the remaining pipeline protest camps. (Bismarck Tribune)
• Democratic U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota meets with Vice President-elect Mike Pence to discuss possible federal assistance related to Dakota Access pipeline protests. (Forum News Service)

UTILITIES: Michigan regulators ask the state’s utilities to report how they will meet their power demands through 2021. (Michigan Radio)

BIOFUELS: The University of Illinois installs a new biomass boiler to heat a greenhouse year-round. (Champaign News-Gazette)

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REGULATION: Among the two dozen applicants seeking two open seats on the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio are attorneys, academics and lobbyists. (Columbus Business First)

• North Dakota officials need to end a dispute with area tribes over oil and gas tax revenue. (Bismarck Tribune)
• A plan to power Madison, Wisconsin on 100 percent renewables is “real, bold, progressive leadership.” (Madison Cap Times)

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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