MINNESOTA: Two key opponents of a Minnesota bill allowing Xcel Energy to bypass regulatory approval for a major natural gas plant drop their opposition after lawmakers add more protections for ratepayers. (Midwest Energy News)

RENEWABLES: Michigan utilities met or exceeded renewable energy standards created under a 2008 law, which generated about $3 billion in investment in the state, according to a new state report. (UPI)

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• Rooftop solar owners in Ann Arbor, Michigan are still frustrated by what the city says are a lack of options when it comes to property tax increases by owning panels. (MLive)
Local officials finalize the sale of city-owned land to develop an Indiana city’s first solar project. (Greenfield Daily Reporter)

WIND: Officials in a South Dakota county are briefed on the potential benefits of bringing a nearly 100-turbine wind project to the area. (Watertown Public Opinion)

• It remains to be seen what repealing the Obama administration’s stream protection rule will mean for Appalachian Ohio. (Athens Post)
• The Indiana Court of Appeals allows an energy company to bring two of its coal-fired power plants into compliance with federal emissions rules rather than being forced to replace them with natural gas. (Indiana Lawyer)
• A Michigan coal plant should be fully restored by July after a massive fire there last year. (Port Huron Times Herald)

• Documents available on Enbridge’s website show portions of Line 5 through the Straits of Mackinac are missing protective coating. (Petoskey News-Review)
• The Oglala Sioux Tribe joins the legal fray against the Dakota Access pipeline out of fear of contamination to its drinking water. (Rapid City Journal)
• North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum orders Dakota Access protesters to evacuate, citing safety and environmental issues with warm weather coming. (Bismarck Tribune)
• Pipeline protests in North Dakota spur legislation in South Dakota clarifying the governor’s emergency response powers and making it a crime to obstruct highways. (Associated Press)
• An Iowa judge rejects arguments from 14 landowners who claimed the Dakota Access developer should not have been able to use eminent domain to take land against their will. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)
• An executive with the company developing the Dakota Access pipeline compares protesters to terrorists. (Associated Press)
• Pope Francis appears to side with Native American tribes who are opposing the Dakota Access pipeline, saying they have a right to defend their “ancestral relationship to the earth.” (Reuters)

OVERSIGHT: Staffers at the U.S. EPA are told to prepare for a series of executive orders from President Trump meant to reshape the agency. (Reuters)

OIL AND GAS: Harsh December weather brought the largest single-month decline in oil and gas production in North Dakota. (Bismarck Tribune)

• A state senator from Minnesota explains why a revised bill allowing Xcel Energy to build a major natural gas plant is a compromise over environmental and economic concerns. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
• A Democratic Wisconsin lawmaker says Wisconsin Republicans should follow Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s lead in supporting clean energy. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

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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