CLEAN ENERGY: Minnesota lawmakers propose investing $45 million for a state green bank program that would offer businesses and homeowners more favorable terms on clean energy financing. (Energy News Network)

• Environmental groups say Nebraska isn’t moving fast enough to secure federal funding to reduce clean energy costs for residents and businesses. (Journal Star)
• Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announces $16 million in state funding to grow and diversify the state’s clean energy workforce. (news release)

• A third-party review confirms that a crack originating from the Keystone pipeline’s construction caused a 500,000 gallon spill in late December. (Nebraska Examiner)
• A Minnesota judge dismisses trespassing charges against environmental activist Winona LaDuke for her role in Line 3 pipeline protests. (Forum News Service)
• Iowa regulators fine two companies $2 million for operating petroleum products pipelines for nearly 30 years without obtaining state permits. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

• Residents in North Omaha, Nebraska, install neighborhood air quality monitors as utility officials plan to keep a nearby coal plant online. (Nebraska Examiner)
• Iowa environmental groups push back against MidAmerican Energy’s proposal to discharge excess liquid runoff from a coal ash storage site into the Missouri River. (Sioux City Journal)

POLITICS: Critics say GOP lawmakers, including U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, contradict themselves by supporting renewable energy but opposing environmental, social and governance investing. (Bloomberg) 

• A carbon pipeline developer sues an Iowa county, claiming its zoning ordinance usurps state and federal law and interferes with landowners’ rights. (Waverly Newspapers)
• A carbon pipeline developer has so far made $6.1 million in easement payments to landowners in an Iowa county, according to company representatives. (Daily Sentinel)

• The developer of an 80 MW Illinois wind project plans to create a local scholarship for community college students pursuing careers in electricity and renewable energy. (News Tribune)
• Voters and elected officials in an Illinois county aim to block commercial wind development as a recent state law seeks to encourage the industry with statewide siting standards. (Illinois Public Media)

TRANSPORTATION: A state-backed grant program aims to create an electric boat charging corridor and a research and manufacturing cluster around the industry in northern Michigan. (Traverse City Ticker)

• A St. Louis suburb considers easing local restrictions to make it easier for homeowners to install solar projects. (Webster-Kirkwood Times)
• A Wisconsin homeowner hopes a solar installation inspires others to realize the financial benefits of an installation. (Journal Times) 

• A national oil lobbying group wants Midwestern governors to back off efforts to make higher ethanol blends available this summer, claiming it would drive up gas prices. (Des Moines Register)
• South Dakota regulators plan to roll back more restrictive environmental regulations initially proposed for an oil and gas company after executives objected to the new requirements. (South Dakota Searchlight)

COMMENTARY: Wisconsin is on the right emissions-reduction track by displacing retiring coal plants with large-scale solar projects, an editorial board writes. (Wisconsin State Journal)

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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.