James Gignac

Lead Midwest energy analyst

Author image
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.

Subscribe to James's posts

James's Latest Posts

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.

Read more >

Photo by Zbynek Burival on Unsplash
Bookmark and Share

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.

Read more >

Bookmark and Share

Photo: US Air Force

Illinois’ Energy Future: Less Coal, More Renewables

Yesterday the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency submitted a proposal to set stricter air pollution limits in the ongoing state rulemaking over Dynegy-Vistra’s fleet of coal-fired power plants in Illinois.

The proposal is a good thing for lowering harmful air pollution. Dynegy-Vistra has also discussed the possibility of retiring some of its remaining coal-fired units in the near future.

Read more >

Photo: US Air Force
Bookmark and Share

Photo: Terry Johnston/Wikimedia Commons

What to Watch for in Michigan’s State of the State Speech

Next Tuesday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer will give her first State of the State address as Michigan’s chief executive officer. It is a key opportunity for her to address climate change, infrastructure needs, and clean energy and water—all priorities Governor Whitmer emphasized during last year’s campaign.

Here’s what to look for.

Read more >

Photo: Terry Johnston/Wikimedia Commons
Bookmark and Share

Electric Utility Resource Plans Are Critical to the Midwest’s Energy Future

At least 30 states will see at least one electric utility with a resource plan in 2019, including states with an expected ruling on an already-filed plan. The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) is a participating stakeholder in resource planning dockets in both Michigan and Minnesota and is applying our technical expertise in partnership with local coalition advocates working with affected communities. Let’s dig into what exactly resource plans are, why they matter, and what to look for in these Midwest states as electric utilities develop and seek approval for their resource plans. Read more >

Bookmark and Share