COAL: The Sierra Club alleges in a lawsuit that a major Illinois coal plant has operated “illegally” for more than a decade without an operating permit from the state as required under the Clean Air Act. (Vxartnews)

• Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb signs a bill into law that allows utilities to impose “unexpected” charges on customers, overriding a recent Indiana Supreme Court decision that required Duke Energy to pay for coal ash clean up costs. (Indiana Public Radio)
• Federal regulators approve an agreement to extend the life of a 63 MW Wisconsin coal plant to preserve grid reliability. (RTO Insider, subscription)

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• A Minneapolis startup has developed an energy efficient and inexpensive way to capture and store carbon emissions by converting plant waste to a charcoal-like substance called biochar. (Vxartnews)
• Iowa House lawmakers overwhelmingly pass legislation to limit the use of eminent domain for carbon capture pipelines by requiring developers to first obtain voluntary easements for 90% of the route. (Iowa Capital Dispatch)

OIL & GAS: North Dakota lawmakers send a bill to Gov. Doug Burgum that would abolish a requirement that oil companies pay higher taxes when oil prices increase. (Bismarck Tribune)

• Federal nuclear regulators assure residents near a Minnesota nuclear plant that a recent spill of contaminated water is not a public health threat. (CBS Minnesota)
• Lawmakers in U.S. northern border states introduce a resolution formally opposing any plans to store nuclear waste near the Great Lakes. (Politico)

• Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy is funding a Minnesota organization that advocates for building new transmission lines along infrastructure corridors, such as highways and existing transmission rights of way. (PV Magazine)
• Xcel Energy proposes a 160-180 mile transmission line that would move clean energy from the site of a coal plant that’s scheduled to close in the coming years and be replaced by solar. (KNSI)

• A developer plans a 150 MW solar project with a 52.5 MW battery storage component in Wisconsin. (WSAW)
• A developer seeks to build a second utility-scale solar project in central Illinois. (WAOW)
• A southeastern Michigan township plans to preemptively draft utility-scale solar zoning regulations before developers propose projects there. (WXYZ)

WIND: A Nebraska county approves an ordinance that expands distancing requirements for wind turbines in proximity to agricultural land, churches and other public amenities. (News Channel Nebraska)

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UTILITIES: Michigan residents harshly criticize the state’s two large investor-owned utilities for days-long outages sustained during an ice storm last month. (Michigan Advance)

• An advanced energy advocate says Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is right to call for legislation that would make natural gas companies more accountable by increasing oversight over their spending. (Chicago Sun-Times)
• The leader of Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light says more work is left to ensure the state’s 100% clean energy law benefits everyone. (Minnesota Reformer)

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Andy compiles the Midwest Energy News digest and was a journalism fellow for Midwest Energy News from 2014-2020. He is managing editor of MiBiz in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and was formerly a reporter and editor at City Pulse, Lansing’s alternative newsweekly.