Energy News Roundup: Tribal leaders appear at a federal courthouse in Chicago to challenge Line 5

Energy News Roundup: Tribal leaders appear at a federal courthouse in Chicago to challenge Line 5
February 22, 2024 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:  



A gold star for EV Readiness: Chicago-area program prepares communities for electric vehicle adoption  — Energy News Network 

A Chicago-area regional government agency offers communities a blueprint for upgrading electric vehicle charging infrastructure. 

Summit Ridge plans 26 community solar installations in Illinois — PV Magazine  

A developer plans 26 community solar projects averaging 3 MW in size that will feature pollinator habitats across Illinois. 

CO2 pipeline conversation draws out hundreds of Central IL residents — WCIA 

Hundreds of central Illinois residents turn out for a public meeting on a developer’s plan to capture carbon emissions from an ethanol plant and store them deep underground nearby. 

Ameren’s new trailers could help fix your power faster after the next storm — KSDK 

Ameren Illinois deploys mobile command centers designed to speed up grid outage restorations following storms. 

Some Midwest states take power to ban wind and solar projects away from local communities — IPM News 

Illinois and Michigan take steps to ensure local opposition to wind and solar projects doesn’t impede clean energy targets by creating statewide siting regulations. 

Millions of gallons of fossil fuel could move through a new pipeline under the Great Lakes — WBEZ 

Tribal leaders appear at a federal courthouse in Chicago to challenge Enbridge’s attempts to keep Line 5 operating and build a tunnel under the Great Lakes. 



Southfield-based EV project to receive $60M federal grant — Michigan Public 

A southeastern Michigan consortium receives a $60 million federal grant to advance research into electric vehicle batteries.  

Michigan Public Service Commission considers charge to fund incentive program for utilities — CBS Detroit 

Michigan regulators consider adding surcharges to customer bills to fund an incentive program for utilities to improve grid reliability. 

47 lineworkers complete ComEd apprenticeship program — WIFR 

Nearly 50 graduates of a ComEd lineworker training program will go on to work in grid maintenance positions with the company. 

Once-vibrant Chaldean Town may become future solar farm — Bridge Detroit 

A once-thriving Detroit neighborhood is among nine under consideration for a large solar project that would power 127 city buildings, but some residents are concerned the projects will drive disinvestment. 

GOP lawmakers urge environmental review of Line 5 tunnel project be expedited — Up North Live  

Michigan Republican lawmakers send a letter to the U.S. Army Corps urging it to expedite its environmental review of Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline. 

Gretchen Whitmer seeks another $150M to restart Palisades nuclear plant — Bridge Michigan 

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s budget proposal seeks another $150 million to help reopen the shuttered Palisades nuclear power plant, but critics say the money would be better spent on energy efficiency, renewable energy, or public transit. 

Demolition dates set for 100-year-old Trenton coal plant — ClickOnDetroit 

DTE Energy schedules demolition dates for its Trenton, Michigan, coal power plant, with the first phase set for March 1. 

Who’s behind a ballot initiative to repeal Michigan’s renewable energy siting laws? — Planet Detroit 

A Michigan ballot campaign to restore local government’s ability to block solar and wind projects has been framed as a grassroot effort, but its leaders have ties to climate change denial and fossil fuel groups. 

Consumers Energy in Jackson Creates $600M Energy Efficiency Plan — DBusiness  

Michigan regulators approve a $600 million plan by Consumers Energy to help low-income customers make cost-saving energy efficiency upgrades. 

Michigan lawmaker gag orders on tax deals blasted as ‘culture of secrecy’ — Bridge Michigan  

More than 30 Michigan state lawmakers have signed non-disclosure agreements as part of efforts to lure major economic development projects, including multiple related to electric vehicles and batteries. 

Regulators tell Michigan utilities to align with new energy laws — MLive 

Michigan regulators issue several new orders to establish a framework for utilities to comply with new energy laws that include higher clean energy targets and energy storage requirements. 

Michigan Public Service Commission approves settlement for energy efficiency programs — Michigan Advance 

Michigan regulators approve a settlement agreement that will require Consumers Energy to increase energy efficiency investments in communities most affected by high energy burdens. 

How a Detroit neighborhood plans to make city act on air pollution concerns — WDIV 

A Detroit neighborhood will install six air quality monitors to provide data that residents hope will force city leaders to take action. 

Critics say DTE Energy’s “Natural Gas Balance” program is more marketing than emissions — Michigan Public 

Michigan environmental groups criticize DTE Energy’s voluntary carbon offset program for natural gas customers as a marketing ploy and a way for the company to profit with business as usual. 



Wind and solar energy producers frustrated by connection delays, congestion in power grid — MPR News 

Renewable energy developers say they are navigating a complex and congested electric grid in Minnesota to get their generation delivered to customers. 

Minnesota’s electric vehicle rebate program opens Wednesday. Here’s what you need to know. — MPR News 

Starting today, Minnesota residents can apply for a state electric vehicle rebate of up to $2,500 for a new vehicle and $600 for a used vehicle. 

Minnesota already exceeds new EPA air quality standards, data show — Minnesota Reformer 

All of Minnesota, including the Twin Cities metro area, already complies with the EPA’s new, tighter soot pollution thresholds. 

DFL lawmakers introduce bill to crack down on mining near Boundary Waters — Minnesota Reformer 

Minnesota Democrats introduce a bill to restrict certain mining practices in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area watershed that the industry says will limit access to essential materials for clean energy. 

Questions arise as Minnesota begins to implement its ‘cumulative impacts’ pollution policy — MinnPost 

Minnesota officials begin the process of implementing the state’s new “cumulative impacts” law for regulating pollution in environmental justice areas, but questions remain about its definitions. 



Ex-utility regulator Sam Randazzo wants his bribery trial moved from Cincinnati to Columbus — Cleveland.com 

Former Ohio utility regulator Sam Randazzo asks for his bribery trial to be transferred from Cincinnati to the state capital. 

Ex-First Energy executives, Ohio utility regulator charged by state in bailout and bribery scandal — Ohio Capital Journal 

Ohio’s attorney general files a total of 44 charges against a former top energy regulator and two former FirstEnergy executives for their alleged roles in a bribery and money-laundering scandal meant to benefit the utility. 

Township commissioners discuss pros, cons of solar farms — WKBN 

A northeastern Ohio township holds an informational meeting on the benefits and drawbacks of solar as surrounding townships ban projects. 

New Solar Array to help Cincinnati Zoo achieve goal of becoming Net Zero by 2025 — WLWT 

The Cincinnati Zoo breaks ground on a 2.8 MW solar project that will help the organization meet a net-zero by 2025 target. 



Union members rally in support of proposed natural gas plant in Superior — Northern News Now 

Union members rally in support of a proposed northern Wisconsin gas plant that has divided local residents and elected officials. 

Federal court hears arguments from Bad River, Enbridge in appeal of pipeline shutdown order — Wisconsin Public Radio 

A federal appeals court hears arguments today in a case involving the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa’s effort to remove the Line 5 pipeline from tribal land, which could hold broader stakes and lessons for the Biden administration’s clean energy ambitions. 

UW-Madison’s new campuswide sustainability plan aims for 100% renewable electricity by 2030 — Wisconsin State Journal 

The University of Wisconsin-Madison announces a new campus-wide sustainability plan that includes achieving 100% renewable electricity by 2030. 

‘Sue big oil’: Youth climate activists press state attorney general to be more aggressive on climate change — WKOW 

Teenage climate activists call on Wisconsin’s attorney general to sue fossil fuel companies for their role in contributing to climate change. 



Environmental justice groups ask feds to resist weakening rules on clean hydrogen tax credit — Energy News Network 

Environmental advocates warn that weakening proposed rules on federal hydrogen tax credits could divert existing clean energy generation to hydrogen production and prolong fossil-fuel-fired generators. 

EPA Reports ‘Widespread Noncompliance’ With the Nation’s First Regulations on Toxic Coal Ash — Inside Climate News 

The U.S. EPA has detected groundwater contamination from metals and other inorganic compounds at roughly 150 coal ash disposal sites. 

Tribal nations, utilities partner on EV access and reliability in the Upper Midwest — Utility Dive 

Tribal nations and utilities partner on a $13.4 million project to install EV chargers and distribute vehicles to Upper Midwest tribal fleets. 

How the US government began its decade-long campaign against the anti-pipeline movement — Grist 

The FBI began tracking Native American opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline as early as 2012 as part of a sweeping law enforcement strategy to counter civil disobedience aimed at fossil fuels. 

Catch more news at Great Lakes Now: 

Energy News Roundup: Line 5 approval is appealed by tribes and environmental groups

Energy News Roundup: Community solar projects seen as key step toward energy justice in Illinois, Great Lakes offshore wind farm put on hold


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