Midwest Energy News

Wind, solar groups skeptical of Ohio ‘clean air’ bill

POWER PLANTS: Wind and solar industry groups are skeptical whether they would benefit from an Ohio bill to save nuclear plants and reward carbon-free power generation. (Toledo Blade)

• Other critics, including environmental groups, say the bill amounts to a corporate bailout for FirstEnergy. (Columbus Dispatch)
• Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, without commenting specifically on the bill, says, “you cannot dramatically reduce carbon or keep those numbers down without using nuclear.” (Columbus Dispatch)

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• The developer of an offshore wind project near Cleveland agrees to share scientific data in and around the site with Great Lakes researchers. (Crain’s Cleveland Business)
• Ohio-based AEP completes the $1 billion purchase of all or part of seven wind projects owned by Sempra Energy. (Columbus Business First)
• County officials in central Kansas vote against recommending a permit for a planned wind project. (Hays Post)

• With Indiana’s legislative session ending today, former U.S. EPA head Scott Pruitt’s lobbying effort to save seven coal plants from closing has likely failed. (Associated Press)
• A Missouri newspaper fact checks claims that every Missouri coal ash storage pond with available data is causing groundwater contamination, finding it to be true. (Columbia Missourian)
• A coal plant that closed last month in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula had a decades-long history of supporting the area’s economic growth. (Marquette Mining Journal)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Ford plans to invest $500 million in electric vehicle startup Rivian and plan a new EV model for the automaker. (Detroit News)

• A citizen-led effort to have voters in a mid-Michigan county determine solar zoning regulations doesn’t gather enough signatures. (Lansing State Journal)
• Large solar projects under development will help a northern Michigan city meet its goal to power government operations with renewables by the end of next year. (Traverse City Record-Eagle)
• Construction begins on a 1 MW solar project at an airport outside of St. Louis. (KSDK)

FRAC SAND: More than three dozen western Wisconsin residents sue subsidiaries of a frac sand mining company that spilled 10 million gallons of wastewater into a river last year. (Wisconsin State Journal)

PIPELINES: Since protests against the Dakota Access pipeline three years ago, four states have adopted new laws modeled by the American Legislative Exchange Council to limit protests. (E&E News, subscription)

• A new poll shows 80 percent of Indiana residents believe climate change is happening while nearly as many support general initiatives to address its impact on the state. (Indiana Environmental Reporter)
• Minnesota Democrats criticize House Republicans for bringing forward a Green New Deal bill meant to divide lawmakers. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

UTILITIES: Alliant Energy tells Iowa utility regulators it needs to increase rates in order to pay for wind energy and grid investments. (Marshalltown Times-Republican)

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POLICY: University of Chicago researchers release an economic working paper suggesting renewable portfolio standards aren’t cost-effective, though other researchers raise concerns about the study’s methods. (E&E News, subscription)

• Energy efficiency advocates say a proposed Ohio bill to support uneconomic nuclear plants would gut the state’s efficiency standards despite misleading claims from bill supporters. (American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy)
• MIT researchers say closing two Ohio nuclear plants would be a “major setback for the economy and the environment.” (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

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