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Great Lakes Energy News Roundup: Line 5 pipeline updates in Ohio, Wis. and Minn., and some renewables face uncertain future

Great Lakes Energy News Roundup: Line 5 pipeline updates in Ohio, Wis. and Minn., and some renewables face uncertain future
November 14, 2019 Ian Wendrow

Keep up with energy-related developments in the Great Lakes area with Great Lakes Now’s biweekly headline roundup.

In this edition: Enbridge pursues possible Line 5 rerouting options in Wisconsin, Ohio refineries elated by court ruling favoring Line 5, attorneys general from Minnesota and Wisconsin support Michigan AG’s Line 5 suit, a new Wisconsin bill could result in higher penalties for tribal members protesting pipelines, and non-solar and non-wind renewable energy plants face an uncertain future.

Canadian energy company Enbridge has purchased a parcel of land owned by the city of Mellen, located in northern Wisconsin, as the energy distributor explores options to reroute Line 5. Enbridge has been exploring other route options in Wisconsin in response to a lawsuit filed by the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.

A recent court ruling in Michigan’s Court of Claims has reassured plant operators at Toledo Refining and a bipartisan group of Ohio politicians, as the plant has become significantly dependent on light crude that is delivered via Line 5.

Democratic attorneys general from Minnesota, Wisconsin and California file briefs supporting Michigan AG Dana Nessel’s effort to shut down Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac because it violates public trust laws.

A Wisconsin bill awaiting the governor’s signature would heighten penalties for protesting part of Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline that Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa tribal members say is already trespassing on their land in northern Wisconsin.

Michigan regulators ruled back in September that independent energy producers – wood-fired power plants, waste-to-energy and some hydropower facilities – will now have to compete directly with solar and wind once their current contracts with Consumers Energy expire in the coming decade. Yet without support from the state or federal level, plant managers fear that they will simply be unable to remain competitive and will have to close.

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