Keep up with energy-related developments in the Great Lakes area with Great Lakes Now’s biweekly headline roundup.
Click on the headline to read the full story:
- Three Chicago area oil refineries that dumped toxic chemicals into Lake Michigan and other waterways are among worst polluters in US, study shows — Chicago Tribune
Three Chicago-area oil refineries are among U.S. facilities dumping large amounts of toxic chemicals and heavy metals into waterways, according to a new report.
- ‘Five Pillars’ Energy Policy Framework Bill Advances in House — Indiana Environmental Reporter
Indiana lawmakers advance legislation that would require state regulators to consider aspects such as reliability, affordability and environmental sustainability in future energy decisions.
Indiana solar advocates say state lawmakers favor utilities by opposing measures to create community solar programs and boosting the compensation for individuals sending excess power to the grid.
- Bill seeks to prevent federal takeover of Indiana air pollution program — Indiana Capital Chronicle
Indiana’s air pollution permitting program is low on money, edging toward violation of the federal Clean Air Act — and a potential U.S. Environmental Protection Agency takeover. And it’s because air pollution is decreasing.
The five national parks along Lake Superior will decarbonize their buildings and vehicles within the next four years. The Lake Superior national parks are expected to be the first nationwide to comprehensively decarbonize.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will deny DTE’s application to continue dumping coal ash into unlined impoundments at the Monroe plant along the River Raisin and the Belle River power plant in China Township. DTE Energy will dispute the decision.
- DTE Energy begins competitive bidding process for wind, solar projects in Michigan — Daily Energy Insider
In a new request for proposal, DTE Energy announced it is seeking new wind and solar energy projects of up to 850 MW to continue its generation transition and address increased demand under its MIGreenPower program.
DTE Energy opposes the city of Ann Arbor’s proposed ban on gas appliances at most new buildings, suggesting customers should get to choose their fuel source.
- Watchdog group says DTE Energy is one of nation’s worst for shutting off power to customers — Michigan Radio
DTE Energy had the third highest number of electricity disconnections among residential customers in 2021 and 2022, according to a watchdog report which looked at utility providers in 35 states.
- GM makes investment in Michigan warehouses to prep for EVs — Detroit Free Press
GM is investing $20 million across several aftermarket warehouses including two in Michigan, to prepare for increased EV production.
- Consumers Energy submits plans to limit endangered bats that might be killed at wind farm — Michigan Radio
Consumers Energy has proposed a plan for its newest wind farm to limit the number of bats killed by spinning turbine blades. The Crescent Wind Project in Hillsdale County is 60 wind turbines. Consumers Energy plan includes a habitat conservation plan and a draft environmental assessment to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
- Battery startup Our Next Energy raises $300 million in new funding round — Crain’s Detroit Business
A Michigan battery startup planning a $1.6 billion production facility in southeastern Michigan has raised $300 million from investors.
- Minnesota electric vehicle legislation would allow Xcel Energy to corner charging market, retailers warn — Utility Dive
Retailers and electric vehicle charging groups raise concerns over Minnesota legislation that they say would allow Xcel Energy to own charging infrastructure and stifle the private market.
- Gas utility’s Minnesota hydrogen pilot ‘good news’ so far, but questions remain — Energy News Network
CenterPoint Energy is one of the first utilities in the country to start experimenting with blending hydrogen into its natural gas pipeline system, a climate solution critics say is too expensive and impossible to scale.
The Minnesota Senate passes a bill requiring 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040, marking a “turning point” in the state’s fight against climate change. Gov. Tim Walz has vowed to sign it.
- Minnesota Is Poised to Pass an Ambitious 100 Percent Clean Energy Bill. Now About Those Incinerators… — Inside Climate News
Environmental justice advocates applaud the legislation but say there’s more work to do on environmental justice and energy equity.
The Biden administration closed off 350 square miles of the Superior National Forest to protect northeastern Minnesota’s pristine Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness from future mining for 20 years, dealing a potentially fatal blow to a copper-nickel project.
- Ohio is seen as a test state for solar farms. An increasing number of counties are banning them — WVXU
More than 40 Ohio townships banned wind or solar, or both, last year after a state law gave municipalities more control over project approval.
- Corporate jets, bribes and dark money: Householder trial spotlights weaknesses in Ohio ethics laws — Cleveland.com
The trial of former House Speaker Larry Householder is exposing how gray areas and loopholes in state law helped enable a major corruption scandal involving utility FirstEnergy.
- Householder trial: Millions in dark money used to call dark money “dirty” — Ohio Capital Journal
Federal prosecutors detail how utility money flowed through dark money groups to political action committees and limited liability companies to benefit former House Speaker Larry Householder.
- Texts show close consultation between Householder and FirstEnergy execs on utility bailout — Ohio Capital Journal
The messages displayed during former House Speaker Larry Householder’s trial Thursday show close coordination between FirstEnergy executives, lobbyists and lawmakers in passing HB 6.
- Two groundwater monitoring wells stopped working at Beckjord site, but Clermont County never knew — WCPO
Southern Ohio county officials were unaware that two wells monitoring groundwater contamination at a former coal plant were either missing or damaged for several months last year.
- Report forecasts clean-energy boost from turning cornfields into solar power fields — Wisconsin Examiner
Wisconsin could produce 100 times more energy by using farmland for solar instead of growing corn for ethanol, according to a state environmental group’s report.
Amazon’s fleet of 26 electric vans are now making deliveries in Madison, Wisconsin. The state-of-the-art vehicles, rolling out across the country are a part of the tech giants climate pledge looking to be carbon neutral by 2040.
- Coal ash crackdown continues as EPA denies extensions for six power plants — Energy News Network
The U.S. EPA denies six coal plants’ requests to keep dumping toxic ash in unlined or inadequately lined pits, including at sites in Michigan and North Dakota, as the agency ramps up enforcement. Among other issues, the EPA determined some plant owners were placing monitoring equipment in locations that could deliver misleading results.
- New Wind and Solar Are Cheaper Than the Costs to Operate All But One Coal-Fired Power Plant in the United States — Inside Climate News
New analysis shows that renewables beat existing coal plants 99 percent of the time, thanks to long-term trends and an assist from the Inflation Reduction Act.
- Wanted (by Scientists): Dead Birds and Bats, Felled by Renewables — Undark Magazine
Collecting, studying, and storing the carcasses from wind and solar facilities, scientists say, can unlock new insights to reduce the environmental impact of clean energy facilities.
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