Energy News Roundup: Vision for green energy in underserved communities, nationwide burst of clean energy jobs

Energy News Roundup: Vision for green energy in underserved communities, nationwide burst of clean energy jobs
October 5, 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:



Illinois wants Spire to show it shouldn’t be held in contempt over its embattled pipeline — St. Louis Public Radio

Illinois’ attorney general claims in court filings that the owner of a St. Louis-area natural gas pipeline has failed to show that it has taken proper measures against erosion.

Pritzker’s signature climate law has seen slow progress on clean energy, green jobs promises — Chicago Sun-Times

Advocates say Illinois is going through “growing pains” as it slowly develops workforce training programs under a 2021 law meant to bring clean energy jobs to historically disadvantaged communities.

Illinois sanctions law firm founder, ex-ComEd CEO, lobbyist in attorney ethics cases — Reuters

The Illinois Supreme Court suspends the law licenses of former ComEd CEO Anne Pramaggiore and a former ComEd lobbyist following their convictions in May on federal bribery charges.

Cook County announces $3M for free solar panel installations — Daily Herald

Illinois’ Cook County announces a $3 million program that provides free solar installations to income-qualifying residents.



Midwest taps dueling strategies to supercharge renewables — E&E News

Illinois and Indiana take separate approaches to siting commercial wind and solar projects, highlighting the large role that local governments play in allowing projects to move forward.



Electrifying a Fraction of Vehicles in the Lower Great Lakes Could Save Over a Thousand Lives Annually, Studies Suggest — Inside Climate News

Electrifying just a third of light- and heavy-duty vehicles in the lower Great Lakes region could save hundreds of lives and billions in healthcare costs, according to Northwestern University researchers.

Gilchrist highlights clean energy jobs following new report outlining industry growth — Michigan Advance

A new report shows Michigan leading the Midwest with nearly 124,000 clean energy jobs, led by energy efficiency and strong growth in clean transportation.

Local Homeowners Push Back Against Consumers Energy Over Tree Removals — Travers City Ticker

Residents in northwestern Michigan say Consumers Energy has used bully tactics and threats of legal action while attempting to remove trees for grid reliability purposes.

Environmental groups want Dept. of Energy to ensure Palisades is safe before giving it $1 billion — Michigan Radio

Environmental groups call on the federal government to require a detailed environmental impact study before loaning $1 billion to reopen a shuttered Michigan nuclear plant along Lake Michigan.

St. Clair County may adopt resolution against state control in local wind, solar projects — Times Herald

An eastern Michigan county considers a resolution opposing state efforts to supersede local decision for wind and solar projects.

Key findings in Bridge Michigan auto project — Bridge

As Michigan automakers and suppliers use public subsidies to build new electric vehicle factories, an investigation finds they are abandoning older, contaminated sites with little environmental accountability.

Consumers Energy aims for smaller power outages, no longer than 24 hours in new reliability plan — MLive

Michigan utility Consumers Energy will file a new five-year grid reliability plan with state regulators that aims to limit outages to no more than 24 hours and explores more opportunities to bury power lines.

Farm solar bill passes state Senate — Michigan Radio

The Michigan Senate passes a bill that would allow farmers to install solar projects without disqualifying their land from future agricultural tax credits.

Nessel draws broad support from tribal nations, businesses and other states in Line 5 suit — Michigan Advance

A coalition of 63 tribal nations across the Midwest and Canada file a brief in support of the Michigan attorney general’s attempt to move a case to shut down Line 5 back to state court.

It’s Time To Fact-Check This Big GOP Claim On Biden’s EV Revolution — HuffPost

Amid misleading GOP claims that the electric vehicle transition is decimating U.S. auto-sector jobs, it remains to be seen whether the transition can be achieved with both companies and workers thriving.

What Michigan could learn from New Jersey’s 2020 cumulative impact law — Planet Detroit

Michigan advocates are pushing state lawmakers to pass legislation that considers industrial pollution’s cumulative impacts on communities, influenced by a 2020 environmental justice law in New Jersey.

Consumers Energy tells Michigan residents it needs partners to keep hydro dams — Bridge

A Consumers Energy official says it no longer makes financial sense for the utility to own and operate 13 aging hydroelectric plants in Michigan.



Surge of interest in K-12 Solar for Schools program — MPR

Interest surges in a Minnesota program that provides school districts with financial and technical support for installing solar projects.

MN Part of Nationwide Burst of Clean-Energy Jobs — Public News Service

Minnesota clean energy jobs grew by nearly 3.5% last year as the state’s industry now employs nearly 60,000 people, according to a new report.

Minnesota startup aims to remove 1B tons of carbon dioxide by 2035 — Star Tribune

A Minnesota startup wins $85,000 in a competition for its technology that converts carbon dioxide into a charcoal-like substance that can be buried underground.

Hennepin County wrestles with future of Minneapolis waste incinerator — MPR

County officials face mounting opposition from environmental groups and community activists calling for the shutdown of a Minneapolis waste to energy facility.

Minnesota regulators vote to move forward the third large Xcel solar project in Becker — Star Tribune

Minnesota regulators approve Xcel Energy’s acquisition of land rights for what will be the third phase of a more than $1 billion, 710 MW solar project at a soon-retiring coal plant.

MPCA seeks feedback on new law to curb pollution in vulnerable neighborhoods — Star Tribune

Minnesota regulators invite public input as they begin implementing a new law requiring them to consider the cumulative impact of air pollution in a neighborhood when considering new permits.

A vision for green energy — and jobs in underserved communities  — MPR

A Minnesota tribal member who founded a solar installation company in 2017 is partnering with an industrial electrical company to create a pilot job-training program in Indigenous communities.



Fracking Ohio state parks, wildlife areas delayed as state board defers decision — Cleveland.com

An Ohio land leasing commission delays a decision on opening two state parks and two wildlife areas to oil and gas exploration, though members expressed an interest in starting permitting soon.

‘Falsified’ public comments loom over Ohio state parks drilling decisions — Energy News Network
The permitting process is playing out despite an ongoing investigation into claims by more than 150 residents that their names and addresses were used without consent on pro-fracking comments submitted to the commission.

ODNR chief shrugs off claims of disputed pro-fracking comments as state weighs drilling parks — Cleveland.com

The head of Ohio’s Department of Natural Resources says the agency will not further investigate claims by dozens of residents that their names were used without consent in support of fracking on public lands.

Ohio community solar pilot would unlock 1.75 GW market — PV Magazine

An Ohio bill to carve out a statewide 1,750 MW community solar program would generate $5.6 billion in gross economic output and nearly $410 million in local taxes, according to an Ohio University analysis.



We Energies plans $100M project to support new Microsoft data center. A law passed for Foxconn may exempt it from regulation — Wisconsin Public Radio

We Energies plans to support a proposed Microsoft data center in Wisconsin with a $100 million distribution project, which may not be subject to regulatory approval.



Tribes Seek Energy Control Using Tiny Power Grids Backed by US — Bloomberg Law

Tribes seek U.S. Department of Energy funding to build local microgrids to improve grid reliability on tribal land.

Federal court weighs blocking Line 5 pipeline shutdown — E&E News

A federal appeals court faces pressure from the Canadian government to block an order calling for the shutdown of Line 5.

Catch more news at Great Lakes Now: 

Energy News Roundup: Hazardous heat, equitable EV charging infrastructure

Energy News Roundup: Opposition over solar development in Illinois, excessive heat in Detroit


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