Great Lakes Energy News Roundup: Wisconsin groups sue EPA, Ohio’s ongoing nuclear power bankruptcy saga

Great Lakes Energy News Roundup: Wisconsin groups sue EPA, Ohio’s ongoing nuclear power bankruptcy saga
November 13, 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: Environmentalists in Wisconsin sue EPA over regulation rollback favoring coal plants, bankruptcy plan for Ohio nuclear power company upheld by appeals court, Prairie Island tribe prepares for massive investment in renewable energy, and Ford Motors to invest millions for electric vehicle construction in southeast Michigan

Click on the headline to read the full story:


Ford Motor Company will invest hundreds of millions of dollars in southeast Michigan and Missouri to expand its electric vehicle assembly process and develop EV parts, which is projected to add or retain several hundred jobs in both states. The company also announced on the same day that it will be increasing production for electric F-150 pickup trucks by 50 percent, constructing a new 500,000 square foot facility at Dearborn Truck dedicated to the construction and assembly of electric F-150s. The new trucks are expected to be commercially available by 2022. 


The Prairie Island Indian Community in Minnesota, whose reservation stands adjacent to Xcel Energy’s nuclear power plant and radioactive waste storage facility, plans to hire a consultant to help the community reach its goal to be completely reliant on renewable energy. A $46 million grant from Minnesota’s legislature last year has helped to expedite the project. Prairie Island Tribal Council president Shelley Buck characterized this project as an opportunity to shift public perception of the community – which is frequently associated with the neighboring power plant – while also serving as a model for other reservations, townships and even cities to emulate. 


Efforts to revisit Energy Harbor’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy failed last week after the 6th Circuit Appeals Court upheld the lower court’s ruling. Energy Harbor, the nuclear power subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp., recently emerged out of a bankruptcy restructuring that preserved two nuclear power plants operating on Ohio’s Lake Erie shoreline. The plaintiffs, a cohort of Ohio-based environmental groups, launched the repeal in the wake of a corruption scandal involving FirstEnergy and legislators in Ohio’s House of Representatives, including the former Speaker.


Several environmental groups, including the Sierra Club and Natural Resources Defense Council, filed a class action lawsuit against the EPA over a new rule change that rolls back regulations governing the management of wastewater from coal plants. The new rule allows coal plants to opt out of investing in expensive, advanced wastewater treatment technology if they are scheduled to retire by 2028. This comes a day before the presidential election, with Trump’s support for the ailing coal industry being a flagship part of his campaigning in both 2016 and 2020.

Catch up on other Great Lakes energy headlines here:

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

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

Featured image: The Prairie Island reservation sits in the shadow of an Xcel Energy nuclear plant and radioactive waste storage facility, seen here. (Photo by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission via Flickr / Creative Commons)



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