Midwest Energy News

Shake-up at the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio

OVERSIGHT: Environmental groups criticize Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s appointment of attorney Sam Randazzo to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. (WOSU, Cleveland Plain Dealer)

ALSO: PUCO Chairman Asim Haque announces he is resigning March 1, giving DeWine a second appointment to the regulatory board. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join an organization that is supporting the clean energy economy. The Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance is hiring a Program Director in Chicago to be part of our leadership team.***

PIPELINES: Four climate change activists are arrested after attempting to shut off an Enbridge pipeline in northern Minnesota. (Minnesota Public Radio)

CLIMATE: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer joins 19 other states in the U.S. climate alliance while reorganizing the state’s environmental agency to include a focus on clean energy and climate change. (Detroit News)

SOLAR:
• A bipartisan bill to bring back higher rates for solar net metering in Indiana is unlikely to get a hearing. (Indiana Public Media)
• Michigan State University Extension plans a series of public meetings on planning and zoning issues with solar in agricultural communities. (WTVB)
• Advocacy groups explore the potential of solar power in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. (Houghton Daily Mining Gazette)

GRID: Last week’s polar vortex showed how natural gas is playing a larger role in grid operator MISO’s territory. (E&E News, subscription)

STORAGE: Upper Peninsula researchers will study whether pumped hydroelectric storage could be used in abandoned mines in the Lake Superior area. (Associated Press)

WIND:
• Three Nebraska wind farms sue the Nebraska Public Power District alleging the utility is attempting to cancel power purchase agreements before they expire. (Lincoln Journal Star)
• A judge denies a developer’s request to start pre-construction work on a long-planned wind project in northern Ohio. (Toledo Blade)

OIL & GAS:
• North Dakota officials issue a water permit for a planned $800 million oil refinery near Theodore Roosevelt National Park. (Associated Press)
• Minnesota-based Ecolab will spin off its oil-drilling chemical manufacturing division into a separate public company. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

CLEAN ENERGY: A hearing is scheduled today on legislation that would move Minnesota towards 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2050. (KEYC)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join the Center for Energy and Environment at a free public forum, February 13 in Minneapolis, MN. Learn about the results and recommendations of the recently completed Minnesota Statewide Energy Efficiency Potential Study. Register today!***

EFFICIENCY: Energy efficiency advocates say last week’s cold weather was a reminder to invest in home insulation. (WXPR)

COMMENTARY: University of Minnesota researchers say those backing more coal in light of the polar vortex often confuse the electric and home-heating sectors. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

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