OIL & GAS: A Wisconsin judge rejects environmental groups’ arguments that state regulators improperly permitted a $700 million natural gas plant, though the project faces other legal challenges. (Wisconsin State Journal)

ALSO:
• A southwestern Indiana oil refinery is among a dozen such facilities in the U.S. emitting unsafe levels of benzene gas, according to a report from the Environmental Integrity Project. (WFYI)
• Indiana Democrats push to lower the state’s gasoline tax, which is adjusted monthly based on wholesale prices and increased 2 cents this month. (WTHR)

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PIPELINES:
• Minnesota regulators will likely decide this week whether to designate carbon pipelines as hazardous and regulate them at the state level. (Star Tribune)
• A developer’s request to delay a permitting decision on a carbon pipeline also delays a South Dakota county’s vote on a carbon pipeline moratorium. (KELO)
• Attorneys for a Dakota Access pipeline protester argue that a district court inappropriately applied a “terrorism enhancement” charge to her sentence for setting fire to construction equipment in 2016. (Grist)
• Alberta’s premier urges U.S. senators to support Canadian crude oil imports into the U.S. by backing the continued operation of Line 5. (Canadian Press)

WIND:
• Wind power generation spiked in Minnesota this spring due to unusually windy conditions, with one utility reporting its highest ever output last month. (MPR News)
• An Indiana county’s rejection of wind development despite rare offers from a developer highlights challenges ahead for adding wind capacity in the Midwest. (E&E News)

SOLAR:
• A developer will reimburse a northern Indiana county for the costs of a legal and financial analysis of a proposed 400 MW solar project. (Kokomo Tribune)
• Wisconsin clean energy advocates partner with solar developers and installers on a cooperative program that allows residents to invest in projects of 1 to 5 megawatts and earn a share of the revenue. (Wisconsin State Journal)
• Central Illinois county officials delay a vote on a proposed solar project to receive assurance from the developer that it will hire local workers. (Heart of Illinois)
• A Wisconsin dairy farm offsets its power needs with onsite solar to help hedge against rising energy costs. (Spectrum News)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: General Motors and LG Energy Solution will receive discounted electricity rates for a large-scale electric vehicle battery manufacturing plant in Lansing, Michigan. (Crain’s Detroit Business)

BIOFUELS: Iowa biofuel advocates say a new state law requiring most gas stations to sell gasoline with 15% ethanol blends year-round could spur action in other states. (Iowa Capital Dispatch)

UTILITIES:
• FirstEnergy is considering combining its three Ohio utilities and three Pennsylvania utilities into unified companies, which critics say could reduce transparency. (Cleveland.com)
• The longtime chairperson and president of Ameren Illinois is retiring on Aug. 1 after more than 20 years with the utility. (Belleville News-Democrat)
• Executives for the parent company of Indiana utility NIPSCO are reviewing the company’s business portfolio that spans six states to determine opportunities for funding a planned clean energy transition. (S&P Global)
• ComEd plans to hire 500 new employees over the next three years to help keep up with a forecasted growth in electricity demand. (CBS Chicago)

HYDROELECTRIC: Low runoff into the Missouri River basin this year will lead to less power produced from hydroelectric dams that supply power to several Midwest states. (Radio Iowa)

GRID:
• Grid operator MISO expects an increased probability of rolling blackouts this summer as hot weather drives up electricity demand and supplies tighten. (Star Tribune)
• Consumers Energy does not expect planned outages in its Michigan territory this summer based on projected peak demand. (WNEM) 

HYDROGEN: A Texas gas producer has signed a letter of intent to purchase southern Ohio property for a hydrogen-fueled power plant. (Columbus Dispatch)

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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.