Great Lakes Energy News Roundup: Climate Jobs Illinois, Line 3, natural gas in Minnesota

Great Lakes Energy News Roundup: Climate Jobs Illinois, Line 3, natural gas in Minnesota
October 30, 2020 Ian Wendrow

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

In this edition: Michigan environmental justice advocates claim state can’t wait to 2050 for clean energy, Minnesota nuclear power plant to construct pilot facility to produce hydrogen energy, and Ohio nuclear energy company faces dangerous court motion from environmental groups.

Click on the headline to read the full story:


A group of 13 Illinois labor unions formed a coalition last month called Climate Jobs Illinois, in an effort to influence Gov. J. B. Pritzker’s “decarbonization” transition for Illinois’ energy grid. The coalition recently released an energy proposal that calls for utility-scale wind and solar while also subsidizing nuclear power plants. Support for nuclear power by the group has raised some eyebrows, though the executive director of Climate Jobs Illinois claimed the union was independent of utilities and energy producers. Gov. Pritzker intends to release his own plan through a working group he put together, which could culminate in new political action in spring 2021.


Minnesota’s Public Utilities Commission is set to review integrated resource plans by Xcel Energy and Minnesota Power, with the former proposing a one billion dollar natural gas plant to replace Minnesota’s largest coal facility that is set to go offline by 2030. In response, environmentalist groups in the state have begun a campaign that aims to shift public perception surrounding natural gas, namely by discrediting the idea that natural gas is cheaper or safer. 

Honor the Earth, an indigenous environmental group based in Minnesota, appealed to state regulators asking them to reconsider Enbridge’s proposal for Line 3’s construction. The group argues that Enbridge has added significant capacity to its other pipe systems, undermining the need for a replacement transport line. 


            Mayor John Cranley of Cincinnati and City Attorney Zach Klein of Columbus threatened to file an injunction against House Bill 6, which would add an 85 cent charge to Ohio ratepayers to fund bailouts for two nuclear power plants located on the northern Ohio coastline. Both officials cite the ongoing corruption and bribery scandal that has rocked Ohio’s legislative branch as proof that the fee is “unconstitutional” and need to be struck down. The case names FirstEnergy Corp, the company running the nuclear plants, as well as the chairman of the Ohio Public Utilities Commission and the state Treasurer.

Catch up on other Great Lakes energy headlines here:

Great Lakes Energy News Roundup: Michigan clean energy transition, pilot hydrogen production plant, Ohio nuclear bankruptcy ruling

Great Lakes Energy News Roundup: Illinois, Ohio coal plants closing; Michigan treatment plant upgrade, Wisconsin poor infrastructure

Great Lakes Energy News Roundup: Wisconsin utility shutoffs postponed, Lake Erie wind farm, Minnesota mine legal win

Featured image: In this June 29, 2018, photo, tanks stand at the Enbridge Energy terminal in Superior, Wis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)


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