Midwest Energy News

Wisconsin regulators approve plans for $700 million natural gas plant

NATURAL GAS: Wisconsin regulators approve plans for a $700 million natural gas plant despite concerns from clean energy advocates and a state agency. (Wisconsin State Journal)

ALSO: Minnesota regulators say Xcel Energy can purchase a $650 million gas plant through a subsidiary that won’t put ratepayers at risk. (Star Tribune)

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COAL:
Iowa regulators will require an analysis of Interstate Power & Light’s coal fleet as part of a recent rate case decision. (Energy News Network)
After more than a decade, two companies abandon plans to build a $2.2 billion coal plant in Kansas. (Wichita Eagle)
• Indiana legislation would prevent utilities from retiring coal plants early or reducing operations unless directed to by the Trump administration. (Utility Dive)
• Murray Energy drops its defense of a company worker bonus program that federal regulators found put production over safety. (E&E News, subscription)

SOLAR:
• Environmental groups file suit claiming Wisconsin regulators discriminate against utility customers who generate their own power and send it back to the grid. (Courthouse News Service)
• County officials in Indiana rescind an economic revitalization designation for a proposed 120 MW solar project. (Anderson Herald Bulletin)

PIPELINES: The Michigan Court of Appeals affirms a ruling that will allow Enbridge’s plan to build a tunnel for the Line 5 pipeline to move forward. (Detroit News)

ACTIVISM: A small Detroit nonprofit has played a key role in raising environmental justice concerns and advocating for community solar in a contested case over DTE Energy’s long-term energy plan. (Detroit Free Press)

CLEAN ENERGY:
• U.S. clean energy investment jumped 28% in 2019 to $55.5 billion despite Trump administration efforts to roll back supportive policies. (Reuters)
• Wisconsin lawmakers and regulators weigh in on Gov. Tony Evers’ statewide carbon-neutral goal by 2050, saying new technology is needed to hit the target. (Wisconsin Public Radio)

OIL & GAS: At a conference in North Dakota, tribal officials discuss their efforts to ensure responsible oil development. (Bismarck Tribune)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Indiana legislation would repeal the state’s supplemental fees to register hybrid and electric vehicles. (Indianapolis Star)

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BIOFUELS: U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa says EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler should be fired if new federal ethanol blending requirements aren’t upheld. (Iowa Starting Line)

COMMENTARY:
• Minnesota lawmakers should tackle several clean energy policies in 2020 to prevent the state from falling behind others, says the executive director of an industry-led clean energy nonprofit. (MinnPost)
• General Motors’ pursuit of new electric and diesel vehicle models is a paradox that “indicates the staying power of diesel technology at a time when fuel is plentiful and prices at the pump are just $3 a gallon,” writes the Detroit News’ auto critic.

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