Middle America’s Low-Hanging Carbon: The Search for Greenhouse Gas Cuts from the Grid, Agriculture and Transportation

Reporters in 14 newsrooms across the Midwest teamed up with InsideClimate News to explore local solutions to climate change.

By John H. Cushman Jr., InsideClimate News

The American Midwest is at a turning point as it confronts the global climate crisis. It’s a landscape of opportunity, where investment is starting to pour into renewable energy, farmers are turning to climate-friendly practices, and automakers are introducing new electric vehicles. But its path forward is still cluttered with obstacles.

The region is already feeling the environmental and economic tremors of climate change. It’s still a rare day when Chicago’s thermometers hit 100—hot enough to be deadly. But the latest science predicts that by mid-century heat waves will routinely strike the region with temperatures much hotter than was common just a few decades ago. Summers will warm faster in the Midwest than in any other American region, according to the National Climate Assessment. Continue reading here.

To read the stories in this series, click here.

 ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Commentary: Now is the time to pass the next Illinois clean energy bill, by Andrew Barbeau and Christie Hicks, Environmental Defense Fund. It has been just over two years since Illinois enacted the groundbreaking Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA), which set bold new goals for solar, wind and energy efficiency. Already, substantial gains from FEJA are being seen across the state. But, a just-completed lottery for renewable energy credits demonstrates that there is a voracious demand for solar and wind energy in Illinois that far exceeds current capacity. 

Missouri solar installer making strides recruiting and hiring military veterans, by Karen Uhlenhuth, Energy News Network. Missouri Sun Solar far exceeds the industry average for veteran employment — and its founder isn’t done hiring.

Indiana utilities are in midst of identity crisis as customers take power into own hands, Indianapolis Star. Until recently, virtually all residents in Indiana, and many states across the country, had little say in where their electricity came from or how it was produced. Bills arrived in the mail — whether from one of the big, investor-owned utilities or a smaller municipal or rural cooperative — and customers paid them. But Indiana utilities no longer hold a monopoly on energy generation in the state.

Ohio regulator approves two solar-powered facilities, Kallinish Energy
The Ohio Power Siting Board has approved construction on two solar-powered electric-generating facilities: one in Hardin County and one in Highland County, Kallansh Energy reports. Hardin Solar Energy Center II in northwest Ohio will be capable of generating up to 170 megawatts. It will include a lithium-ion battery storage system with a capacity of up to 60 MW. It would be one of the first such storage systems in the Midwest.