Energy News Roundup: Sulfur smell in Indiana, Minnesota Power launches solar project

Energy News Roundup: Sulfur smell in Indiana, Minnesota Power launches solar project
July 14, 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:



Byron nuclear station, 12 taxing bodies reach settlement on EAV — Ogle County News

The owner of an Illinois nuclear plant reaches an agreement with surrounding taxing entities on how much it owes in property taxes, settling years of ongoing appeals.

At rules hearing, U.S. EPA hears human toll of unaddressed coal ash pollution — Energy News Network

At a federal hearing in Chicago, residents and advocates plead with U.S. EPA officials to further expand the agency’s proposed coal ash storage rules and step up enforcement of existing regulations.

Citing racial disparities and rising gas rates, Illinois groups call for building electrification — Energy News Network

Consumer and environmental groups urge Illinois regulators to pursue “restorative justice” in a Peoples Gas rate case to address alleged environmental racism in the utility’s record of customer disconnections.



Sulfur smell covering northwest Indiana believed to be caused by BP Whiting Refinery — Indiana Public Radio

Recent severe weather caused power outages and unplanned gas flaring at a northwestern Indiana oil refinery, where surrounding neighbors complained of sulfur smells.



Trump says EVs will ‘decimate’ Michigan in Novi speech — MLive

Former President Donald Trump claims during a rally in Michigan that electric vehicles will topple the state’s economy, though studies have shown that such job loss claims are inflated and not backed by evidence.

Rep. Tsernoglou urges lawmakers to leverage federal funds by passing community solar bills — Michigan Advance

Michigan lawmakers say adopting bills to allow for community solar projects will also help attract federal funding to projects.

Republicans deny climate science in Michigan clean energy hearing — MLive

Michigan Republicans dismiss climate change as a “theory,” rejecting established science as they attacked proposed clean energy targets.

Opponents sue to stop Marshall Megasite — WOOD-TV8

Opponents of Ford’s massive proposed electric vehicle battery manufacturing plant in Michigan sue to stop the project based on zoning grounds.

Ford cutting several hundred white-collar jobs to reduce cost amid transition to electric vehicles — Associated Press

Ford is cutting hundreds of white-collar engineering and other salaried jobs as it seeks to trim costs amid a transition to electric vehicles.

Sheep become eco-friendly landscapers at Western Michigan University’s solar garden — WWMT

A Michigan utility introduces sheep at an 8.5-acre solar installation to help manage vegetation.

Montrose Township residents seek removal of solar farm ordinance — WJRT

Residents in an eastern Michigan township seek to overturn an ordinance that they view as too friendly to commercial solar development.

Grand Rapids getting 11 natural gas buses through $6.2M federal grant — MLive

Michigan’s second-largest city receives a $6.2 million federal grant to purchase 11 compressed natural gas-powered buses.

Michigan reps to DTE Energy CEO: Why do you deserve $10M in pay? — Bridge

The head of Detroit-based DTE Energy faces more scrutiny from state lawmakers questioning his $10 million salary and the utility’s ongoing grid reliability problems.

New state budget includes money to restart Palisades — WSJM

Michigan lawmakers pass a new state budget that includes $150 million to help restart a shuttered nuclear plant along Lake Michigan.

Protesters scuffle with organizers of Line 5 lecture in Petoskey — Interlochen Public Radio

A scuffle ensued at a northern Michigan college as protesters attempted to disrupt an Enbridge official’s Line 5 pipeline lecture.

A Climate Laggard in America’s Industrial Heartland Has a Plan to Change, Fast — New York Times

Michigan Democrats seek to shed the state’s reputation as a climate laggard dependent on auto manufacturing with an aggressive clean energy strategy calling for 100% carbon-free power by 2035.

Michigan funneled $2B into luring big business. Here’s where it went. — MLive

An economic development fund to help lure electric vehicle and battery manufacturers to Michigan has ballooned to $2 billion.

Tribal leaders, environmental advocates decry Enbridge appeal of Line 5 ruling — Michigan Advance

Environmental groups and tribal leaders criticize Enbridge for appealing a court ruling ordering the company to shut down a segment of Line 5 in Wisconsin in the coming years.



Rooftop solar atop affordable apartments in Minneapolis connects residents to savings — Sahan Journal

A new partnership is bringing rooftop solar installations to multifamily affordable housing buildings in the Twin Cities, creating opportunities for tenants to reduce electricity bills.

Minnesota Power launches new Sylvan solar project — Daily Energy Insider

Minnesota Power completes a 15.2 MW solar project, one of three recent installations using panels manufactured by an in-state company.

Minnesota is the Midwest leader on electric vehicles, report says — Minnesota Reformer

Minnesota leads the Midwest with supportive policies to expand electric vehicle ownership, according to a new scorecard grading incentives, charging infrastructure and grid optimization.

Centerpoint proposes 106 million plan to cut cardon emissions from gas system public utilities commission — Star Tribune

Minnesota’s largest gas utility proposes a five-year, $106 million plan to cut carbon emissions through a series of clean energy pilot projects, including geothermal and renewable natural gas.

Plans for new EV chargers form in Washington County — Star Tribune

A gas station chain seeks to install a series of fast-charging electric vehicle stations in a county outside of Minneapolis where drivers currently have few options to charge.



Lordstown Motors files for bankruptcy and sues former partner Foxconn — CNN

Ohio-based electric vehicle startup Lordstown Motors files for bankruptcy and sues its former partner Foxconn, accusing the company of fraud and not following through on promises to invest.

Ohio utilities could resume energy efficiency programs under bipartisan bill — Energy News Network

Bipartisan legislation advancing in the GOP-controlled Ohio House would allow utilities to voluntarily reintroduce energy efficiency programs, which were eliminated in 2019 as part of House Bill 6.

Ex-Ohio GOP chair, lobbyist Matt Borges shows remorse, gets 5 years for role in $60M bribery scheme — Associated Press

An Ohio lobbyist and former chairman of the state GOP was sentenced to five years in prison for his role in a $60 million corruption scheme that resulted in favorable legislation for FirstEnergy.

State budget could spawn hundreds of millions in new charges on Ohioans’ electric, gas bills — Cleveland.com

The latest draft of Ohio’s state budget would allow utilities to add bill surcharges to support infrastructure for speculative economic development sites and electric vehicle charging stations.

Ex-Ohio House speaker gets max sentence in corruption case, blasted as ‘bully with a lust for power’ — Ideastream

A federal judge sentences former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder to 20 years in prison for his role in a $61 million bribery and corruption scheme that resulted in legislation to benefit FirstEnergy.

Federal judge blasts disgraced Ohio House speaker as a “bully,” sends him straight to jail — Ohio Capital Journal

The judge during sentencing called Householder a “bully,” accusing him of perjury during the trial and taking money that belonged to ratepayers and handing it to “suits in private jets.”

Ohio froze an ex-utility regulator’s $8 million in assets. Lawyers disagree over whether it’s legal — Associated Press

Ohio’s attorney general continues an effort to freeze the assets of former top energy regulator Sam Randazzo, claiming he was spending down bribe money from FirstEnergy.

FirstEnergy dark money payments included over $550,000 for ‘consumers’ group’s campaign against Cleveland Public Power — Energy and Policy Institute

FirstEnergy secretly paid more than $550,000 to a front group and its campaign against Cleveland Public Power, a publicly owned nonprofit utility that competes with a FirstEnergy subsidiary, bank records show.

Don’t be an ash: Court says coal companies must follow state regulations — Ideastream

An Ohio appeals court rules that coal companies must follow state coal ash regulations even if they are more stringent than federal rules.

Johnson Run strip mine mineral rights under unusual new ownership — Athens County Independent
An Ohio conservation group recently acquired the mineral rights of a strip mine with intentions to leave the coal resources in the ground.



Wildfire smoke prompts health warnings, calls for climate action and for public health response — Wisconsin Examiner

Unhealthy air quality across the Midwest caused by Canadian wildfires prompts Wisconsin clean energy advocates to call for a swift transition to renewable energy to address the underlying climate issues.



Republican attacks on ESG aren’t stopping companies in red states from going green — NPR

Large industrial companies operating in red states where lawmakers have sought to crack down on environmental, social and governance investment policies still find that ESG practices are good for business.

Infrastructure funding is bringing zero-emission buses to communities that need them most — Grist

The 2021 federal infrastructure law has already added 1,800 no-emission buses to U.S. roadways, more than doubling the number of such vehicles in use.

Midwest states, often billed as climate havens, suffer summer of smoke, drought, heat — Investigate Midwest

Recent drought and poor air quality from wildfires are challenging the perception of the Midwest as a climate refuge, experts say.

Who decides where we get electricity and how much we pay? Mostly White, politically connected men — Energy News Network

Recent studies find that most public utility commissions, which make key decisions on states’ transition to clean energy and set electricity rates for customers, largely lack diversity of life and professional experience.

Catch more news at Great Lakes Now:

Energy News Roundup: Ohio law blocks solar energy development, Line 5 fight in Michigan continues

Energy News Roundup: Minnesota leading in clean energy, coal plant closing in Michigan


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *