Midwest Energy News

Regulations not keeping pace with fracking boom, advocates warn

OIL & GAS:
• Natural gas pipeline explosions in Ohio highlight concerns over lax pipeline safety regulations as the fracking industry grows. (Rolling Stone)
• The CEO of Consumers Energy details how a fire at a natural gas compressor station caused an emergency for the company during the polar vortex. (Detroit Free Press)

SOLAR:
• Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz proposes $20 million over the next two years for grants that help schools install solar panels. (Minnesota Public Radio)
• A majority of residents speak at a public hearing in favor of a proposed 100 MW solar project in southern Ohio. (Hillsboro Times-Gazette)
• University of Minnesota researchers propose solar financing for low-income households to offset operating costs. (Minnesota Daily)
• County officials in southwestern Ohio seek to intervene in a case before the Ohio Power Siting Board over a proposed solar project. (Eaton Register-Herald)
• A Minnesota resident transitions from working in the oil industry to installing solar panels. (Minnesota Public Radio)

COAL:
• Coal is expected to dominate Indiana’s energy mix for decades unless new policies are enacted, according to a new report. (E&E News, subscription)
• A southwestern Indiana coal mine will close this spring. (Indianapolis Business Journal)
• Michigan officials approve environmental grants to clean up a former coal storage site in Lansing. (Detroit News)

MICROGRIDS: ComEd installs lighting powered by a wind turbine, solar and battery storage at a Chicago-area microgrid. (Renewable Energy World)

RENEWABLES:
• A growing number of schools and cities in northern Michigan look to power their operations with renewable energy. (9&10 News)
• Chicago’s resilience strategy includes powering buildings with 100 percent renewable energy by 2035. (Cities Today)

WIND:
• A DTE Energy power purchasing program will allow Ford to power multiple assembly plants and buildings with wind energy. (Crain’s Detroit Business)
• Lancaster County in southeastern Nebraska adopts the strictest setback regulations in the state, requiring wind turbines to be at least a mile from homes without a lease with developers. (Lincoln Journal Star)
• A Nebraska mayor takes a job with a company that promotes wind energy development in the state. (Norfolk Daily News)

BIOFUELS:
• Kinder Morgan will expand its Chicago ethanol terminal to help relieve a supply glut that’s driving down global prices for the fuel. (Reuters)
• The U.S. EPA continues to play a balancing act between competing interests of the biofuel and oil refining industries over renewable fuel standards. (E&E News, subscription)
• An industry group says Minnesota’s ethanol industry contributed $2.3 billion to the state’s GDP in 2018. (news release)

CLIMATE: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issues another proposal to reorganize the state’s environmental agency that includes a focus on climate change. (Bridge Magazine)

COMMENTARY:
• Michigan can be a leader in clean energy investments to address climate change, environmental advocates say. (Bridge Magazine)
• A columnist highlights the renewable energy industry’s growth in the Midwest. (East Peoria Times-Courier)

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