Energy News Roundup: Line 5 negotiations in Michigan, funding for clean energy in Illinois

Energy News Roundup: Line 5 negotiations in Michigan, funding for clean energy in Illinois
May 2, 2023 Kathy Johnson, Great Lakes Now

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:



Chicago’s Blacks in Green gets a major boost from a $10 million EPA grant — Energy News Network

Chicago’s Blacks in Green receives a five-year, $10 million U.S. EPA grant to provide technical assistance for the agency’s Justice40 Initiative and support collaboration with five frontline organizations.

‘Corrupt influence’ or ‘collateral damage’? Jury to decide fate of ‘ComEd Four’ — Illinois Public  Media

Jurors began deliberating in the trial of former ComEd executives and political players accused of bribery in exchange for jobs and favorable legislation.

Illinois’ push to clean energy has been re-energized by 2021 law — Daily Herald

Renewable developers say Illinois’ 2021 clean energy law has provided a “tremendous shot in the arm” helping the industry to grow.

Plan lifting moratorium on nuclear construction moves to House floor — WAND

An Illinois House committee advances legislation to lift the state’s 1987 ban on the construction of new nuclear plants.

Gov. Pritzker Announces $16 Million in Funding for Climate Works Pre-Apprenticeship, Barrier Reduction Programs — News Release

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announces $16 million in state funding to grow and diversify the state’s clean energy workforce.

Piatt County wind farm opponents face off against a new state law encouraging their construction — Illinois Public Media

Voters and elected officials in an Illinois county aim to block commercial wind development as a recent state law seeks to encourage the industry with statewide siting standards.



Bill giving Indiana utilities dibs on interstate power line projects passes state Senate — WFYI

The Indiana Senate passes a bill giving utilities first rights to build, own and operate transmission projects that cross state borders.

Holcomb signs bill to create a statewide energy plan into law — Indiana Public Broadcasting

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb signs multiple bills into law that include creating a statewide energy plan and creating a carbon capture and storage pilot program.

State letting AES Indiana discharge toxic water into White River, group says — Indianapolis Business Journal

Indiana environmental groups say the state is allowing AES Indiana to release more than 1 million gallons of contaminated water from coal ash ponds per day into a river in violation of the Clean Water Act.

Indiana lawmakers give approval to anti-ESG investing bill — Associated Press

A GOP-backed bill to prohibit environmental, social and governance strategies when investing public funds or deciding who receives government contracts heads to Gov. Eric Holcomb’s desk.

Bill to keep Indiana from setting stricter coal ash rules heads to governor — Indiana Public Media

Indiana lawmakers send Gov. Eric Holcomb a bill that prevents the state from making coal ash regulations stricter than federal rules, which critics say would hamstring efforts to handle the contaminated waste.



U.S., Canadian delegates continue Line 5 treaty negotiations in D.C. — Detroit News

Delegations from the U.S. and Canada continue formal negotiations in Washington, D.C., as Canada invokes a 1977 treaty to prevent Michigan from shutting down the Line 5 pipeline.

Ballot proposal would stop Consumers Energy, DTE from building solar panels on farmland — FOX 17

A local group in Michigan is pursuing a statewide ballot initiative that would block utility-scale projects on designated farm land.

What’s in the Senate Dem bills aimed at facilitating Michigan’s clean energy transition?

— Michigan Advance

A seven-bill package from Michigan Democrats would update renewable energy standards, set a clean fuel standard, reduce building emissions and allow state regulators to consider climate factors when evaluating utility plans.

Suspected oil puddles, sheen prompt visitor warnings at parks along Grand River — MLive

State officials are working to remediate riverside areas with suspected crude oil puddles and sheens following recent flooding in western Michigan.

State’s largest wind energy park opens in mid-Michigan — WNEM

Detroit-based utility DTE Energy opens a $300 million wind project that makes it the largest wind project in Michigan.

This Wayne County city provides electricity to its residents. They have fewer outages — WDIV

A southeastern Michigan city with its own electric utility reports fewer and shorter outages — and more customer satisfaction — compared to large investor-owned utilities.

Electrifying The Bay: Inside The State-Backed Grant Program That Will Make Northern Michigan An Electric Boating Hub — Traverse City Ticker

A state-backed grant program aims to create an electric boat charging corridor and a research and manufacturing cluster around the industry in northern Michigan.

Clean energy group reports jobs and investments coming to Michigan — Michigan Radio

Michigan is poised to add 13,000 jobs and attract more than $20 billion in clean energy investments from 14 companies, mostly in the electric vehicle and battery space.

Amazon rolls out EV fleet in metro Grand Rapids — WOOD-TV8

Amazon debuts electric delivery vans in western Michigan as the company aims to have 100,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2030.

Michigan students get hands-on EV experience with new scholarship program — WILX

The first group of Michigan college students access $10,000 scholarships to gain experience in electric vehicle-related fields.

Michigan companies, individuals face federal charges in major diesel emission scheme — Crain’s Grand Rapids Business

Federal prosecutors announce charges against three companies and 11 people for an alleged scheme to disable emission-control devices on hundreds of semi-trucks.

Enbridge: Line 5 tunnel process taking too long — WJRT

Enbridge claims that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ review of a tunnel for Line 5 in the Great Lakes is taking too long.



Minnesota’s solar garden program ranks second in the nation, but some say it could do more — MPR News

Minnesota’s community solar program is the largest in the nation but critics say it isn’t reaching the individuals and small businesses that need it most.

Minnesota Power: Local Dams Handling Rising St. Louis River As Built To Do — Fox 21

A northern Minnesota utility activates emergency plans at four hydro facilities facing rising water levels and growing flood risk.

Minnesota House Passes Environment, Natural Resources, Climate and Energy Bill — KNSI

The Minnesota House passes a $670 million environmental spending bill that includes nearly $350 million for energy and climate initiatives.

Xcel pushing measure that has raised gas bills in Minnesota, scrapped in other states — Energy and Policy Institute

Xcel Energy is fighting to extend a Minnesota law that allows utilities to charge customers while fast-tracking gas infrastructure upgrades without standard regulatory review.

MN Senate passes bill aimed at training refinery workers following St. Paul Park asphalt spill — Pioneer Press

The Minnesota Senate passes a bill requiring the use of skilled contractors at refineries following a recent asphalt spill at a Twin Cities facility.

Minnesota is committed to 100 percent clean energy. An unprecedented amount of federal funding is available. How will it all come together? — Sahan Journal

Local officials and advocates in Minnesota are working to ensure unprecedented amounts of federal clean energy funding reaches diverse communities.

MN joins ‘matching-funds game’ for clean-energy projects — Spokesman-Recorder

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz signed a bill this week creating a $115 million fund to provide matching dollars for local governments and other entities pursuing federal clean energy funding.

Judge dismisses trespassing charges against environmental activist Winona LaDuke — Forum News Service

A Minnesota judge dismisses trespassing charges against environmental activist Winona LaDuke for her role in Line 3 pipeline protests.

Monticello says tests show water not affected by nuclear leak — MPR

Local officials say independent tests confirm that a Minnesota city’s drinking water remains safe following a contaminated water spill at a nearby nuclear plant.

Refinery worker standards bill passes Minnesota House, heads to governor’s desk — Minnesota Reformer

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz is expected to sign a bill that would require petroleum refiners to hire more highly trained contractors after workers raised safety concerns at a Twin Cities-area facility.



Eye on Utilities: Delay, delay and more delay — Energy News Network

Attorneys for former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and a GOP lobbyist plan to ask a judge to drop guilty verdicts against them and ask for a new trial.

Gas and oil wells in Ohio are leaking. Who’s responsible for fixing them? — Statehouse News Bureau

Tens of thousands of leaking abandoned oil and gas drilling wells dot eastern Ohio with no fix in sight, a journalist’s investigation finds.

Oil and gas drilling in state parks set to expand, while some say taxes on it are too low — Ohio Capital Journal

A recent law requiring Ohio agencies to permit oil and gas drilling on state parklands reignites a debate over whether drilling companies are paying their fair share in severance taxes.

Ohio Groups Want More Public Feedback on Leasing State Lands for Oil, Gas Drilling — Cleveland Scene

Ohio environmental groups want the state to strengthen the public comment and notification process when companies seek to drill for oil and gas on publicly owned land.



Could offshore wind in the Great Lakes provide the cheap, clean power Ontario needs? — Toronto Star

Offshore wind in the Great Lakes could be a cheaper alternative than nuclear to meet Ontario, Canada’s electricity demand, though the province has had a moratorium on offshore wind since 2011.



Federal, state officials say nuclear is key to cutting carbon emissions to combat climate change


Some Wisconsin utilities and lawmakers are interested in the potential of small modular reactors to create jobs and carbon-free electricity, but others have concerns about costs to ratepayers and how to store waste.

Assembly Republicans pass bills to block government from curbing fossil fuel use — Wisconsin Examiner

Wisconsin Republicans advance a bill that would block the state and local governments from banning fossil fuel-powered tools, appliances and vehicles.

Dane County becomes first in Wisconsin to achieve 100% renewable energy — Daily Cardinal

Dane County recently became the first county in Wisconsin and the fourth in the nation to meet 100% of its electricity needs with renewables.



GOP targets clean energy laws despite boons back home — E&E News

GOP members of Congress attempting to eliminate clean energy tax credits amid debt ceiling talks also represent districts that have benefited from investments made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act.

Massive pipeline spill caused by crack created during installation, third-party review concludes — Nebraska Examiner

A third-party review confirms that a crack originating from the Keystone pipeline’s construction caused a 500,000 gallon spill in late December.

Catch more news at Great Lakes Now:

Energy News Roundup: Power outages in Michigan, future of nuclear power in Illinois

Energy News Roundup: Minnesota’s 2040 carbon-free energy bill, coal ash crackdown continues



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