Midwest Energy News is taking a break for the holiday weekend. Thanks for reading, and we’ll be back on Tuesday.

OIL & GAS: Indiana consumer advocates say state regulators’ approval this week to replace a coal plant with a natural gas peaker plant is “outrageous” and will significantly raise costs for CenterPoint Energy customers. (Indianapolis Star)

ALSO:
• The Biden administration’s first oil and gas lease sale on federal land brought little interest from the industry while environmental groups filed two separate lawsuits seeking to invalidate the results. (Reuters)
• A federal judge in Wisconsin allows a class action price-fixing suit brought by several companies against Xcel Energy and other gas suppliers to proceed. (Bloomberg Law, subscription)

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COAL:
• Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signs a bill into law that critics say allows utilities to benefit from the state’s recent securitization law without fully shuttering coal plants. (Missouri Independent)
• Xcel Energy officials this week gave a final tour of a shuttered southwestern Minnesota coal plant that will be demolished later this year. (Voice of Alexandria)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Market forces and hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding are accelerating the push toward electric vehicles in Indiana and elsewhere. (Indianapolis Star)
• Last year’s strong clean energy-sector job growth was driven by the hybrid and electric vehicle markets, according to a new U.S. Department of Energy report. (Grist)

CLEAN ENERGY: A development team converting a south Minneapolis single-family home into a 12-unit apartment building hopes to raise public awareness around clean energy housing components and sustainable materials. (Sahan Journal)

WIND: Rivian hosts a public hearing on its plan to install a 500-foot wind turbine that would give vehicles made at its Illinois manufacturing plant their first charge. (Heart of Illinois)

NUCLEAR: High costs remain a key hurdle for deploying new nuclear energy, which some industry executives admit has “a tendency to overpromise and underdeliver.” (NPR)

SOLAR: Aerial inspections of solar projects using drones or manned aircrafts are becoming more mainstream and an optimal way to detect defects or components that may be offline. (PV Magazine)

EFFICIENCY: A four-year-old partnership between ComEd and the state of Illinois has helped more than 2,000 income-eligible homeowners improve their energy efficiency, saving an average of $800 per participant. (Daily Energy Insider)

GRID: Grid operator PJM details a hot weather scenario earlier this month in Ohio that, coupled with some generation sources going down, caused multiple load-shed declarations. (S&P Global)

UTILITIES: State regulators approve rate increases for Duke Energy Indiana that will hike residential rates by nearly 17% and commercial rates by roughly 20% to cover rising fuel costs. (The Republic)

COMMENTARY: A Nebraska editorial board welcomes a tribe’s call for an environmental impact study of proposed carbon pipelines. (Lincoln Journal Star)

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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.