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GRID:
• Major Midwest utilities’ plans to swap large coal plants for natural gas highlight a dispute among grid operators and clean energy advocates about reliability during the transition from coal. (E&E News)
• State regulators in Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin have started rejecting large rate increase requests from utilities seeking to fund grid infrastructure upgrades. (Bloomberg)
• Utilities in Minnesota, Wisconsin and other states begin to prepare for potential outages under a winter storm expected over the next few days. (Brainerd Dispatch)

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SOLAR:
• A Missouri task force assembled to help state lawmakers craft a tax policy for large-scale solar projects finalizes a report, though it may not lead to legislative action next year. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
• Critics say Xcel Energy’s interconnection process is slowing the development of community solar projects in Minnesota. (Sahan Journal)
• A U.S. solar racking and tracking manufacturer expands its operating footprint, including in four Midwest states. (PV Magazine)

PIPELINES:
• The Keystone pipeline operator submits plans to federal regulators to restart the pipeline after a 14,000-barrel oil spill this month. (Reuters)
• The U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is reviewing its special permits that waive certain pipeline operating requirements as legislators question whether the practice contributes to spills. (Reuters)
• A southwestern Iowa city council approves a resolution opposing a company’s proposed multi-state carbon capture pipeline and the use of eminent domain for the project. (KMALand)
• South Dakota regulators may take until 2024 to hold hearings on a proposed carbon capture pipeline. (AgWeek)

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE: Advocates say Democratic lawmakers in Michigan have a chance to reform the state’s environmental regulations and rulemaking to better protect environmental justice communities. (Planet Detroit)

EMISSIONS: North Dakota officials plan to challenge the Biden administration’s use of a social cost of carbon to calculate emissions from federal oil leases. (E&E News, subscription)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• A Detroit-area public school district unveils the first of what could be up to 18 electric school buses it plans to purchase in the coming years. (Press & Guide)
• The U.S. Postal Service will sharply increase the number of its electric delivery trucks and will go all-electric for new purchases starting in 2026. (Associated Press)

Fresh Energy is hiring!
Fresh Energy’s work is speeding the transition to a clean energy economy in Minnesota and beyond. To advance this work, we are seeking a director of inclusive finance to join the Energy Access and Equity team and a policy associate to join the Clean Electricity team. Find both job postings here.

COMMENTARY:
• The recent 14,000-barrel oil spill from the Keystone pipeline is “further evidence of the prudence” of denying a key permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, clean energy analysts say. (Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis)
• The chairperson of the Nebraska Ethanol Board recently traveled with top state officials to Japan to share his expertise as the country embraces biofuels to achieve carbon neutrality. (Lincoln Journal Star)
• A series of new federal laws, along with a projected $17.6 billion budget surplus, position Minnesota to transform its clean energy economy, an advocate writes. (MinnPost)

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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.