EQUITY: A coalition of solar developers, community organizers, environmental groups and faith leaders is granted intervenor status for the first time in a Minnesota utility rate case and will advocate for equity and justice as regulators consider an Xcel Energy rate increase. (Energy News Network)

PIPELINES:
• A carbon pipeline developer says it has voluntary easements from about 60% of landowners along the project’s planned route through Iowa. (Sioux City Journal)
• North Dakota regulators plan to appoint an administrative law judge for decisions related to a carbon pipeline after the commission chairperson signed a contract with a project developer. (Bismarck Tribune)
• An Iowa county considers local regulations for siting hazardous liquid pipelines, including requiring conditional use permits and setback distances. (Waverly Democrat)

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COAL: A Michigan municipal utility retires its last coal plant, now making it the largest utility in the state to have coal-free generation. (WKAR)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Commercial electric vehicle startup Lordstown Motors begins shipping its first batch of 500 trucks from a former General Motors plant in Ohio. (Associated Press)
• Electric vehicle charger availability has steadily grown in southeastern Minnesota in recent years as more communities seek the infrastructure. (Post Bulletin)

SOLAR: A union claims developers of a massive northwestern Indiana solar project are violating a tax incentives agreement by relying primarily on out-of-state workers to build the project. (Times of Northwest Indiana)

WIND: State regulators approve plans for a $390 million, 250 MW wind project in south-central North Dakota. (Bismarck Tribune)

NUCLEAR: Ameren Missouri disputes a safety violation it received from federal regulators following a September nuclear plant inspection. (Fulton Sun)

BATTERIES: An investment from United Airlines’ venture capital fund could ramp up battery production at a western Michigan manufacturing plant as the airline seeks to reduce its emissions. (MiBiz)

GRID: A planned grid upgrade in a south Minneapolis neighborhood is delayed several hours, leaving hundreds of residents without power in freezing temperatures. (CBS Minnesota)

EMISSIONS: Coal-producing areas of North Dakota want a state clean energy fund to focus more on reducing emissions from existing fossil fuel sources over other technologies. (KFYR)

POLITICS: Republican Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana, who co-founded a bipartisan Senate climate solutions caucus and has expressed an interest in reducing emissions, will run for Indiana governor. (E&E News, subscription)

UTILITIES:
• Republican attorneys general from Ohio, Indiana, South Dakota and Nebraska join a coalition objecting to a major institutional investor’s request from federal energy regulators to purchase shares in U.S. utilities. (S&P Global)
• Minnesota officials say demand for utility bill assistance far exceeds available funding to help income-qualifying utility customers. (MPR News)

BIOFUELS:
• Legislation before the U.S. Senate that would allow for year-round sales of gasoline with higher ethanol blends has key support from the oil lobby. (Nebraska Examiner)
• A bipartisan group of Midwestern congress members are also rallying behind the legislation. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

COMMENTARY: The state director for AARP in Kansas raises concerns about Evergy’s $1.2 billion, five-year capital spending plan and its effect on ratepayers. (Kansas Reflector)

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Andy Balaskovitz

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.