Midwest Energy News

Regulators approve major utility merger in Kansas, Missouri

WIND: A Canadian company’s plan to aggressively shift a Missouri utility to clean energy faces opposition from state officials. (Midwest Energy News)

UTILITIES:
• Kansas regulators approve a merger between Westar Energy and Great Plains Energy, forming a company with $14 billion in equity that serves 1.6 million customers in Kansas and Missouri. (Lawrence Journal-World)
• DTE Energy will soon market the site of a former power plant near downtown Detroit for redevelopment. (Detroit Free Press)

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FRAC SAND:
• The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources considers whether to honor a judge’s decision invalidating a proposed frac sand project. (La Crosse Tribune)
• A frac sand mining accident in western Wisconsin sends a thick plume downstream to the Mississippi River as officials investigate environmental impacts. (Associated Press)

PIPELINES: Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signs an emergency order barring anchor use in the Straits of Mackinac following an incident last month that severed transmission lines and dented the Line 5 pipeline. (MLive)

CLEAN ENERGY: Advocates say Illinois is headed toward a clean energy future due to 2016 energy reforms and declining renewable energy prices. (RTO Insider)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A startup secures a $200 million loan to begin producing vehicles at a former plant in central Illinois. (Chicago Tribune)

OIL AND GAS:
• Record production levels are expected this summer in the Bakken region, though company officials plan a “disciplined approach.” (Bismarck Tribune)
• North Dakota officials say more than 15,000 gallons of brine and oil have been recovered following a spill in the northwestern part of the state. (Associated Press)
• North Dakota oil and gas tax revenue is up 25 percent amid rebounding prices. (Associated Press)

COAL: An Upper Peninsula coal plant is on schedule to close in 2020, Michigan officials say. (Marquette Mining Journal)

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RENEWABLES: Advocates discuss the growing role of renewable energy in Minnesota’s portfolio. (Minnesota Public Radio)

COMMENTARY: The chairwoman of the Michigan Public Service Commission says Upper Peninsula ratepayers are better off after comprehensive energy reforms took effect last year. (Escanaba Daily Press)

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