James Gignac

Lead Midwest energy analyst

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James Gignac is lead Midwest energy analyst for the Climate & Energy program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. Prior to joining UCS, Mr. Gignac served as environmental and energy counsel and as assistant attorney general to the Illinois Attorney General. Mr. Gignac earned a JD from Harvard Law School, and a BA in history and political science from Albion College. See his full bio.

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Weighing in on Xcel Energy’s Plans for Minnesota’s Energy Future

This month, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission is holding a series of public meetings to hear from individuals, communities, advocates, and other stakeholders on Xcel Energy’s plans for Minnesota’s energy future.

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Photo: James Gignac
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UCS Extreme Heat Report: A Call to Action on Midwest Clean Energy

Excessively hot weather spread across the Great Plains and Midwest states last week. On Friday, Chicago faced heat indexes well above 110 degrees, and many other areas endured dangerous heat warnings and advisories.

According to a sobering new report issued earlier this week by the Union of Concerned Scientists, the heat impacts of climate change will bring increasingly frequent extreme heat events such as these if we don’t take aggressive action to mitigate global warming pollution. Read more >

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DTE wind energy facility in Huron County, MI Photo: James Gignac

What Will DTE’s Electricity Future Look Like?

On June 20th, the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) is holding a public forum and information session on an important electricity planning process involving DTE Energy’s electric subsidiary.

This is a key opportunity for residents and business owners to learn about—and share their views and input on—DTE’s long-term proposals for fulfilling customers’ electricity needs. Read more >

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Photo: Zbynek Burival/Unsplash

Xcel Energy’s Plan to Eliminate Coal and Boost Solar in Minnesota

Today, Xcel Energy released a preliminary plan to phase out its remaining coal-fired power plants in Minnesota and replace them primarily with wind, solar, and energy efficiency—moving the company forward toward its goal of 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050.

Part of the plan involves a consensus proposal joined by the Union of Concerned Scientists, other clean energy organizations, and the Laborers International Union of North America.

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Photo by Zbynek Burival on Unsplash
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Moving Ahead on Minnesota Clean Energy Legislation

The Minnesota legislature is considering important new legislation to move forward on clean energy and build on the progress the state has already made to reduce emissions and modernize its electricity system.

Let’s dig into the status of the bills and some key highlights.

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