Staff Directory 89522247

Mike Hughlett

Reporter | Food industry
phone: 612-673-7003
Mike Hughlett covers the food industry for the Star Tribune,.including General Mills and Supervalu. Previously, he was a food reporter for the Chicago Tribune.
Recent content from Mike Hughlett

Company answering to wind farm noise complaints in Faribault County

Utility intervenes after neighbors object to noise.
Roger French, assistant football coach with Gophers, BYU and more, dies at 87

Roger French, assistant football coach with Gophers, BYU and more, dies at 87

A longtime Maple Grove resident, French had a career that spanned six decades, capped by his key role on Brigham Young University's only national championship team.
N.D. oil supply down a bit but forecast is strong

N.D. oil supply down a bit but forecast is strong

December marked first month-to-month decline since July, state said.
Xcel's profit fell 7 percent in fourth quarter, slightly missing expectations

Xcel's profit fell 7 percent in fourth quarter, slightly missing expectations

An otherwise "Super Bowl year" saw fourth-quarter profit down 7 percent from 2016.

State taking another look at utility rates because of federal tax cut

The old, higher rates were factored in when deciding how much companies could charge.

Charges dropped against Dakota Plains defendant

Shermeta set to cooperate with prosecutors in Dakota Plains case.
Minn. company betting on pea protein as next thing in trendy eating

Minn. company betting on pea protein as next thing in trendy eating

Local maker of pea-based protein powder draws backing from Cargill.
Life Time's Bahram Akradi named chairman of Northern Oil and Gas board

Life Time's Bahram Akradi named chairman of Northern Oil and Gas board

The company also announced a financial restructuring and a new interim president.

State regulators approve $13 million rate hike for Minnesota Power

Residential customers will see a 3.5 percent rate increase.
Tariff on foreign-made solar products could cost Minnesota jobs

Tariff on foreign-made solar products could cost Minnesota jobs

Solar-industry firms in Minnesota see Trump's decision costing jobs.
OSHA cites Xcel for electrical explosion at Sherco

OSHA cites Xcel for electrical explosion at Sherco

Minnesota OSHA fined the utility $21,000; Xcel said it will appeal.
Loan approved for operator of Iron Range solar plant

Loan approved for operator of Iron Range solar plant

Mountain Iron facility will use funds for expansion.
Xcel Energy has hopes for wind and solar projects with battery storage

Xcel Energy has hopes for wind and solar projects with battery storage

The Colorado projects signal a wider use.
North Dakota expects to hit oil production record in 2018

North Dakota expects to hit oil production record in 2018

Oil prices are near a three-year high, and the state's November production levels were the highest since July 2015.
Can hackers turn out the lights? Xcel is guarding against it

Can hackers turn out the lights? Xcel is guarding against it

Xcel Energy and other utility companies are beefing up their security operations to guard against cyberattacks.

Former Allina VP suspected of embezzling at least $269,000

David Matthew Johnson has been charged with seven counts of theft in connection with submitting false mileage and personal reimbursement reports.

Excavation equipment strikes Eagan pipeline, sends 21,000 gallons of gasoline into lot

Nearby businesses were evacuated, but no one was injured.
PUC moves Enbridge Line 3 decision to June

PUC moves Enbridge Line 3 decision to June

The June target is about three months earlier than recommended by an administrative law judge.
Minnesota looks to rely on nuclear power to meet electricity needs for a while

Minnesota looks to rely on nuclear power to meet electricity needs for a while

For Xcel Energy, nuclear energy is critical to meeting its carbon reduction goals, particularly as it slowly jettisons its greenhouse-gas belching coal generators.
Tribes ask PUC to reconsider review of new Enbridge pipeline route, saying cultural study wasn't done

Tribes ask PUC to reconsider review of new Enbridge pipeline route, saying cultural study wasn't done

Minnesota's Ojibwe leaders say the state botched its pipeline environmental study.
Cargill takes rare step of cutting business with palm oil supplier

Cargill takes rare step of cutting business with palm oil supplier

Guatemalan firm has been accused of environmental and human rights abuses.
Minnesota's solar garden program takes off in 2017

Minnesota's solar garden program takes off in 2017

The number of plants has grown from 10 to 58, producing enough electricity to power 32,000 homes.
Reality on the ground essentially rules out alternatives to Enbridge's proposed Line 3 replacement route

Reality on the ground essentially rules out alternatives to Enbridge's proposed Line 3 replacement route

Enbridge's Line 3 replacement proposal looks like an exercise in futility.
PUC rejects state's environmental review for Enbridge's Line 3 project

PUC rejects state's environmental review for Enbridge's Line 3 project

Regulators ask state for more environmental impact details on Enbridge's Line 3 project.

PUC backs Xcel's plan that would result in closing Iron Range, Benson plants

Communities protest job losses at wood-burning and manure plants.
Gerda Martel, who witnessed rise of Nazis, dies at 101

Gerda Martel, who witnessed rise of Nazis, dies at 101

Gerda Martel escaped from Nazi Germany as it intensified its persecution of the Jewish people, settling in the United States and later living for two…
Pipeline opponents claim Enbridge skirted permit rules for storage yard

Pipeline opponents claim Enbridge skirted permit rules for storage yard

Enbridge in a statement said the "permits were issued in compliance with applicable regulations at the time."
Wind project in southern Minnesota gets pushback

Wind project in southern Minnesota gets pushback

Wind farms often generate local antipathy as they grow both in number and economic importance to the energy industry, but the Freeborn project has sparked a higher level of opposition.

PUC rules that co-ops must change way they calculate solar fees

Solar advocates had pushed for the change, saying fees were too high and discouraged residents from installing solar.
Judge OKs environmental assessment of proposed Enbridge pipeline

Judge OKs environmental assessment of proposed Enbridge pipeline

The environmental impact statement, done by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, was deemed "adequate" in a ruling released Wednesday.
Line 3 replacement pipeline would be one of state's largest construction projects in recent history

Line 3 replacement pipeline would be one of state's largest construction projects in recent history

Pipeline work is the kind of long-term job that doesn't come around often – but the opposition is fierce.
Enbridge ordered to publicly disclose the probability of spills along proposed new pipeline

Enbridge ordered to publicly disclose the probability of spills along proposed new pipeline

The modeling data was shared with people on all sides of the debate but not in the public document.
Rate increases, lower expenses lift profits at Xcel Energy

Rate increases, lower expenses lift profits at Xcel Energy

Xcel Energy’s third-quarter profit rose 7 percent as the company beat stock analysts’ expectations. The Minneapolis-based utility on Thursday posted earnings of $492 million, or…
Sky's the limit for clean-energy jobs in Minnesota, across U.S.

Sky's the limit for clean-energy jobs in Minnesota, across U.S.

Renewable energy jobs, most of which are in wind and solar, grew by 16 percent to around 6,200 in Minnesota from 2015 to 2016, according to a recent study by Clean Energy Economy Minnesota.
Minn. Chippewa plan own environmental survey of Enbridge's Line 3 proposal

Minn. Chippewa plan own environmental survey of Enbridge's Line 3 proposal

A state report found the pipeline renovation would negatively affect American Indians, but the bands plan their own look.
Enbridge hits back against state report against pipeline project

Enbridge hits back against state report against pipeline project

Oil company calls its $2B line across N. Minn. crucial.
North Dakota oil production continues to rise

North Dakota oil production continues to rise

Rising oil prices have spurred new well drilling.
Minnesota agencies sued over power law favoring home-state companies

Minnesota agencies sued over power law favoring home-state companies

LSP, based in New York, says is anti-competitive and violates federal commerce law.
Xcel will reach milestone with new South Dakota wind farm

Xcel will reach milestone with new South Dakota wind farm

It is on track to be the first U.S. utility to surpass 10K megawatts of wind-energy generation.
For Minnesota Ojibwe, pipeline project puts too much at risk

For Minnesota Ojibwe, pipeline project puts too much at risk

The Ojibwe say wild rice waters would be increasingly at risk if a pipeline planned by Calgary-based Enbridge comes to fruition.
Enbridge pipeline hearings attract hundreds in St. Paul

Enbridge pipeline hearings attract hundreds in St. Paul

The comments ran from climate damage to the economic boost the $2 billion-plus project would cause.
Ousted Northern Oil & Gas CEO Michael Reger will get $3.75 million package in settlement

Ousted Northern Oil & Gas CEO Michael Reger will get $3.75 million package in settlement

Reger had filed a wrongful termination suit against the company.
Xcel Energy gets PUC nod for gas contract at new Vikings HQ

Xcel Energy gets PUC nod for gas contract at new Vikings HQ

Minnesota Energy Resources had claimed new sports facility is in its "natural" service area.
State says Enbridge pipeline across northern Minn. not needed

State says Enbridge pipeline across northern Minn. not needed

Enbridge disagrees with Minnesota report saying Line 3 is no longer needed.
Enbridge has improved its Minnesota safety record in recent years

Enbridge has improved its Minnesota safety record in recent years

Since 2002, Enbridge's pipelines in Minnesota have sprung 60 leaks, although spills in recent years have involved considerably less oil, a review shows.

CenterPoint Energy granted 5.4 percent interim rate increase

The utility had asked state regulators for $51.2 million, or 5.8 percent.

Minnesota jobs related to clean energy have grown more than 5 percent

The growth rate was higher than the state's overall jobs numbers.
Tove Dierssen, who fostered Danish culture in Twin Cities, dies at 81

Tove Dierssen, who fostered Danish culture in Twin Cities, dies at 81

She came to the United States from Copenhagen in 1959, but she never left Denmark behind.

Xcel wants to close two coal-fired plants in Colorado

The Minneapolis-based utility would invest $2.5 billion there to add renewable and natural gas energy sources.
Enbridge Line 3 options all would hurt American Indians, report says

Enbridge Line 3 options all would hurt American Indians, report says

The final environmental impact statement for Enbridge's Line 3 oil pipeline replacement project says it is not possible to determine whether the Canadian company's proposed…
North Dakota oil production remains above 1 million barrels per day

North Dakota oil production remains above 1 million barrels per day

With Dakota Access fully online, more oil is traveling by pipeline.

Wisconsin dairy farm wins $4.5 million judgment against Xcel over stray voltage

The Trempealeau County farmers said their cows were producing less milk because of issues caused by the stray voltage.
Dayton delays release of environmental review of Enbridge pipeline

Dayton delays release of environmental review of Enbridge pipeline

The state wants another week to respond to the many public comments on the 'Line 3' project.
Cargill owed $715M by bankrupt Azerbaijani bank

Cargill owed $715M by bankrupt Azerbaijani bank

Minnetonka ag giant's loans to Azerbaijan are latest headache for its finance arm.
Minn. lawmakers go to bat for Canadians making solar panels on Iron Range

Minn. lawmakers go to bat for Canadians making solar panels on Iron Range

A simmering trade battle could endanger a solar-panel plant in Mountain Iron, Minn., in a region eager for jobs other than the boom-or-bust work in the taconite mines.
CenterPoint seeks 6.4 percent rate hike for natural gas in Minnesota

CenterPoint seeks 6.4 percent rate hike for natural gas in Minnesota

If the full number is approved, the average bill would increase by about $4.50 per month.

'Social cost' of carbon dioxide emissions from power plants increased

Since the 1990s, Minnesota has been one of just a handful of states to try to quantify the economic impact of the greenhouse gases behind climate change.
Xcel Energy profit easily tops estimates as rate hikes help margins

Xcel Energy profit easily tops estimates as rate hikes help margins

The utility benefited from rate increases that took hold in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Texas and New Mexico.
Hormel launches snack packs with meat, cheeses and nuts

Hormel launches snack packs with meat, cheeses and nuts

The Natural Choice snacks join a growing number of protein-based snack items.
Life Time's Bahram Akradi is now on Northern Oil and Gas board

Life Time's Bahram Akradi is now on Northern Oil and Gas board

Akradi, the company's second largest investor, originally was rejected for a seat in June.

Employees hurt at Xcel plant in Becker

Xcel investigating cause of accident.
Regulators deciding whether to raise 'social cost of carbon' in Minnesota

Regulators deciding whether to raise 'social cost of carbon' in Minnesota

PUC will hold hearings and vote next week on policy that could affect what type of power plants are built and where.

Green Line is back in service after light-rail train, car crash in St. Paul, injuring 3

The two people in the car and one train passenger were taken to the hospital; buses were replacing trains on part of the Green Line.

Two people arrested after body is found in garage of St. Paul home

A body found Friday in the garage at the 600 block of Lawson Avenue E. may have been there for weeks, said police, calling the case "extremely disturbing."
Lawsuits, unpaid bills cast shadow over large Minn. solar project

Lawsuits, unpaid bills cast shadow over large Minn. solar project

Scores of subcontractors have filed a blizzard of claims, saying they were not paid for their work on the $290 million project that was completed last month. One attorney estimated that at least $85 million is owed.
North Dakota coal industry is alive and well

North Dakota coal industry is alive and well

North Dakota's industry is an economic anchor that is surviving.
Appeals court rules in favor of Jimmy John's franchisee

Appeals court rules in favor of Jimmy John's franchisee

Ruling reverses decision that favored fired workers' push for a new sick policy.

Minnesota's second 100-megawatt solar project is up and running

The Enel-owned project's 16 plants will produce power for more than 17,000 homes.
Oil country eases into break from frantic growth

Oil country eases into break from frantic growth

The oil boom that ignited North Dakota's economy in the early part of this decade created new jobs, new businesses, new housing and new amenities. And while the downturn that started in late 2014 tamed western North Dakota's economy, it never crushed it.
Life Time Fitness CEO Bahram Akradi seeks board seat at Northern Oil

Life Time Fitness CEO Bahram Akradi seeks board seat at Northern Oil

A newfound activist investor, Akradi has upped his ownership stake in Northern Oil and Gas to nearly 10 percent.
North Dakota says oil output increased in April

North Dakota says oil output increased in April

More rigs operated in the state, but price jitters keep the outlook guarded.
Indian tribes, business leaders make their cases in Enbridge Line 3 debate

Indian tribes, business leaders make their cases in Enbridge Line 3 debate

A public hearing in St. Paul on Tuesday sought public input into the replacement of the pipeline that wends across northern Minnesota.
Minnesota moving up in rankings for solar energy

Minnesota moving up in rankings for solar energy

During the first quarter, the state ranked fourth nationally for new solar power installations compared with the same period a year ago, according to data released Thursday by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), a trade group.

Minnesota Power partners in $700 million gas-fired plant in Wisconsin

The Duluth-based utility also announced contracts to buy wind and solar power.
Kim Lund awarded $45.2M for her stake in Lunds & Byerlys

Kim Lund awarded $45.2M for her stake in Lunds & Byerlys

The judge's ruling ends a legal squabble involving the four Lunds siblings who jointly own the well-known grocery store chain.
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