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
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.
After crash, North Dakota oil industry shows strong signs of a rebound

After crash, North Dakota oil industry shows strong signs of a rebound

After prices skyrocketed – and then crashed – optimism is again fueling new rigs and jobs in North Dakota's oil fields
Dick Maki, member of World Drum Corps Hall of Fame, dies at 82

Dick Maki, member of World Drum Corps Hall of Fame, dies at 82

The Ely native was a baritone player who marched for most of his life.

State Commerce Department recommends lower rate hike for Minnesota Power

The utility had asked for a 6.1 percent rate increase.

State further restricts PUC oversight of electric co-ops

The new legislation was tucked into the omnibus jobs and energy bill.

Minnesota's solar energy subsidies look to be on their way out

The Made in Minnesota program was eliminated in legislation heading to Gov. Mark Dayton.
Enbridge pipeline could cause more damage than alternatives, but it's not largest spill risk

Enbridge pipeline could cause more damage than alternatives, but it's not largest spill risk

State looks at environmental impacts of Enbridge options.
N.D. oil output slips in March but still came in above forecasts

N.D. oil output slips in March but still came in above forecasts

Production remained above 1 million barrels a day after falling short of benchmark over the winter.
Minn. regulators approve historic Xcel Energy rate increase of $244 million

Minn. regulators approve historic Xcel Energy rate increase of $244 million

Residents will pay 10.6 percent more over four years, while most industrial and commercial customers will pay 6.9 percent more.
Ten K Solar 'discontinuing' current operation

Ten K Solar 'discontinuing' current operation

The manufacturer said it will discontinue current operations, but it has offered few details.
Minnesota sees an 80 percent jump in solar energy capacity this year

Minnesota sees an 80 percent jump in solar energy capacity this year

The state now has 447 megawatts online, according to the state.
Lawsuit against NHL over concussions heating up

Lawsuit against NHL over concussions heating up

Many of the 126 former players in the suit have Minnesota connections.
Utilities square off over serving Minnesota Vikings

Utilities square off over serving Minnesota Vikings

Xcel's agreement to provide service to the NFL team's complex in Eagan sets 'a dangerous precedent,' MERC argues.
CenturyLink gains flexibility to raise rates in Minnesota

CenturyLink gains flexibility to raise rates in Minnesota

CenturyLink, the state's dominant provider of landline phone service, will be mostly deregulated after a decision Thursday by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.
Minnesota continues to be a top state for wind power

Minnesota continues to be a top state for wind power

Xcel Energy leads utilities in the energy as well.

Minnetonka man charged with defrauding customers of renewable energy firm

Customers of Renewable Energy SD paid over $13 million but never received equipment or refund.
Supervalu to buy California-based cooperative Unified Grocers for $375 million

Supervalu to buy California-based cooperative Unified Grocers for $375 million

It's buying a California-based cooperative for $375 million.
Mortenson's bottom line lifted by wind and solar energy projects

Mortenson's bottom line lifted by wind and solar energy projects

Golden Valley-based Mortenson has become a national leader in the construction of wind and solar energy projects.
Enbridge, state fail to reach settlement in pipeline tax dispute

Enbridge, state fail to reach settlement in pipeline tax dispute

Mediation failure means case will end up in court with rural counties fearing big tax liability.
Trump rescinds Clean Power Plan; state won't see much change

Trump rescinds Clean Power Plan; state won't see much change

State law and industry forces have already set course toward renewable energy.

Otter Tail building natural gas plant in South Dakota

Fergus Falls, Minn.-based Otter Tail Power Co. said Monday it plans to build a natural gas-fired generator in eastern South Dakota, which will help make…
Enbridge tax challenge could cost northern Minn. counties millions

Enbridge tax challenge could cost northern Minn. counties millions

If Enbridge wins its property tax challenge, some N. Minn. counties might owe it refunds.
Dakota Plains co-founder indicted on federal fraud charges

Dakota Plains co-founder indicted on federal fraud charges

Ryan Gilbertson's attorney said he will fight the charges stemming from an alleged stock scheme.
New fee for electric vehicles proposed in Minnesota

New fee for electric vehicles proposed in Minnesota

Legislators propose $75 to $85 a year to offset missing gas tax money from drivers.
Xcel unveils new phase of wind power construction, with huge plant in S.D.

Xcel unveils new phase of wind power construction, with huge plant in S.D.

The site in eastern South Dakota will produce as much energy as Xcel's giant wind farm in Colorado.

Senate passes legislation that could diminish PUC oversight

Gov. Dayton may veto bill regarding electricity co-ops.

Cargill sells petroleum trading business to Macquarie

The Australian firm will keep the trading unit's Minneapolis office.
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