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:
- When it comes to smog, Cook County is the worst neighbor in the country, EPA finds — Chicago Tribune
Cook County, Illinois, contributes more to smog pollution violations in other states than anywhere else in the country, according to federal data.
- Stellantis idles Illinois plant, takes step toward closure — Telegraph Herald
Automaker Stellantis moves closer to shuttering an Illinois manufacturing plant as it prepares to shift production to electric vehicles.
- Bringing community solar to low-income customers is a lot harder than you might think — Energy News Network
An Illinois entrepreneur describes the challenge of bringing community solar to low-income communities, where many people are deeply skeptical of outsiders offering a deal.
- Chicago-area partnership casts a wide net to recruit and train the electricians of the future — Energy News Network
A Chicago-area partnership is helping to fill the need for more electricians to meet clean energy job demands while also expanding training and opportunities to women and environmental justice communities.
- Judge in ComEd bribery trial reverses course, will allow secret recordings to be released to media — ABC 7
Jury selection begins today in the trial of four former ComEd executives and associates accused of a bribery scheme to influence former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.
An Illinois House committee advances a bill that expands the size of a qualifying small modular nuclear facility as lawmakers seek to accommodate the nascent industry.
- Coal Ash: The Poison Seeping into Indiana Water — Indiana Environmental Reporter
Indiana lawmakers refuse to hold hearings this session on bills that would regulate the safe disposal of coal ash, including from a facility along the Lake Michigan shoreline.
Detroit utility DTE Energy may be under-reporting the number of recent outages in its territory as winter storms have left thousands of customers without power for several days.
Michigan’s attorney general calls for stronger oversight of the state’s regulated utilities following prolonged power outages after recent storms.
- State lawmakers plan hearing on power outage response — Detroit News
Michigan lawmakers plan hearings next week to probe utilities’ response to storms last week that caused outages for hundreds of thousands of customers.
Ann Arbor, Michigan, officials call on state lawmakers to adopt policies promoting more grid resilience, such as community solar programs and helping municipalities invest in renewable energy.
- Holtec submits second application for federal funds to restart Palisades — Herald Palladium
The owner of a southwestern Michigan nuclear plant submits its second request for federal funds to help it potentially reopen.
Most Michigan lawmakers who are set to consider increased accountability of the state’s regulated utilities have accepted significant campaign contributions from those companies.
Michigan utility Consumers Energy is launching a pilot program to bury power lines underground in rural areas where tree trimming would be too expensive.
- A Mackinac Island ferry is going fully electric — Michigan Radio
A diesel-powered ferry that transports passengers from mainland Michigan to Mackinac Island will be converted to run on electricity.
- Xcel Energy presents proposed power line routes from Lyon County to Sherco power plant near Becker, Minnesota — West Central Tribune
Xcel Energy hosts a public open house in Minnesota for landowners who might be affected by a proposed 160- to 180-mile renewable energy transmission line.
- Public Utilities Commission vice chair on how regulators will approach Minnesota 100% carbon-free law — MinnPost
A top Minnesota energy regulator discusses the upcoming oversight role that he and others will play under the state’s clean energy law calling for 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040.
Minnesota lawmakers consider creating a state fund that would help leverage federal dollars to invest in various clean energy sectors.
Minnesota regulators approve plans for a $256 million solar project that faces opposition from landowners for occupying prime farmland.
- A new solar model is bringing bigger savings to renters in Minneapolis — Energy News Network
A Minneapolis solar cooperative and an affordable housing nonprofit have devised a solar financing structure that slashes renters’ utility bills far more than typical community solar programs.
Crews are working to clean up roughly 400,000 gallons of water contaminated with radioactive tritium that spilled at a Minnesota nuclear plant in November 2022; officials say it is not contaminating drinking water sources and it may take a year to fully resolve.
- FirstEnergy scandal whistleblower says he feels vindicated after public corruption trial testimony — ABC 5
The Republican operative and whistleblower who first exposed corruption at the heart of the power plant bailout law says he feels vindicated after years of torment.
- The utility bailout House Bill 6 made both Ohio’s air and politics dirty — Ohio Capital Journal
A public policy analyst notes that the law at the center of a major corruption trial in Ohio was also bad policy that is stalling renewable energy development and contributing to more power-sector emissions.
- Guilty: Former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder, ex-Ohio GOP chairman Matt Borges convicted in $60M bribery scheme — Cleveland.com
A jury convicts former House Speaker Larry Householder and a GOP lobbyist of taking part in a $60 million bribery scheme to pass a $1.3 billion bailout of two nuclear plants owned by a FirstEnergy subsidiary.
- What the guilty verdicts in the HB 6 corruption case mean for energy policy and good government in Ohio — Energy News Network/Eye on Ohio
Experts say the case exposed the extent to which political contributions and dark money organizations influence Ohio politics.
Other legal experts say Householder erred in the case by testifying and opening contradictions in his testimony for prosecutors.
- Lawmakers react to guilty verdict for Householder, Borges — Spectrum News
“I respect their decision but I don’t agree with it,” Householder told reporters upon leaving the courthouse.
- Madison adopts energy savings rules for big buildings — Wisconsin State Journal
A new Madison, Wisconsin, ordinance will require owners of larger commercial buildings to report annual energy use and make efficiency “tuneups” every four years or face fines.
- An enormous wind turbine collapsed in January in Dodge County. Here’s what we know nearly two months — Journal Sentinel
The operator of a 400-foot wind turbine that collapsed in Wisconsin in January has still not said what caused the incident.
A federal appeals court rejects a challenge to Biden administration regulations requiring reductions in pollution that blows across state lines from coal plants in mostly Midwest and Northeast states.
Five of the worst wastewater-polluting U.S. oil refineries are located in the Great Lakes region, including one that discharges directly into Lake Michigan, according to an environmental group’s analysis of U.S. EPA data.
The Biden administration will distribute $2.5 billion over the next five years for states, local governments and tribes to build out electric vehicle charging infrastructure.