BUILDINGS: Electric heat pumps gain traction in cold weather states like Minnesota as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from buildings. (Star Tribune)

UTILITIES: Chicago seeks competitors to potentially replace ComEd as the city’s long standing electricity provider, or use the process to broker a better deal with the utility. (WBEZ)

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PIPELINES:
• The Line 5 pipeline is dividing U.S. and Canadian officials and highlighting the challenges of balancing energy security with the clean energy transition. (Washington Post)
• Enbridge files new legal arguments to place a lawsuit over Michigan’s attempt to shut down Line 5 in federal court. (Michigan Advance)
• Kansas and Ohio are among the latest states to adopt more restrictions aimed at cracking down on pipeline protests. (Grist)
• Law enforcement officers in North Dakota will detonate munitions in front of experts as part of the evidence-gathering process in a lawsuit filed by a Dakota Access pipeline protester. (Bismarck Tribune)

SOLAR:
• Wisconsin utilities request permission from state regulators to purchase a 300 MW solar project with 165 MW of battery storage. (Wisconsin State Journal)
• NextEra Energy seeks to build a 320 MW solar project in Kansas, which would be the state’s largest. (FOX 4)
• An Illinois city considers plans for a 20-acre community solar project that would provide subsidized electricity to 400 low-income families. (Effingham Daily News)

OHIO: Former Public Utilities Commission of Ohio Chairman Sam Randazzo has been off loading real estate holdings worth hundreds of thousands of dollars since FBI agents searched his Ohio home late last year. (Columbus Dispatch, subscription)

TRANSMISSION: Some Missouri farmers are still hopeful that state lawmakers can block the development of the Grain Belt Express transmission project. (News-Press Now)

OIL & GAS: BNSF says it’s prepared to handle more crude oil shipments by rail if the Dakota Access pipeline is shut down. (Reuters)

COAL:
• Evergy plans to close Kansas’ oldest remaining coal plant by 2023 as part of its shift to more clean energy resources. (Lawrence Journal-World)
• North Dakota lawmakers passed dozens of bills this spring that are meant to benefit the state’s coal and oil industries. (Bismarck Tribune)
• Ohio State University issues a $35,000 grant to a research project documenting how eastern Ohio was shaped by changes in the coal industry. (Coshocton Tribune)

GRID: A southwestern Michigan city invests $1.9 million in smart meters that officials hope will improve reliability and prevent longer outages. (Herald Palladium)

WIND: A developer is examining the potential for a utility-scale wind project in mid-Michigan. (FOX 47)

SUSTAINABILITY: General Motors announces new corporate sustainability goals that would reduce the energy intensity of producing vehicles while diverting nearly all of its waste from landfills. (Reuters)

COMMENTARY:
• Electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian is poised to help jumpstart economic activity in central Illinois, an editorial board says. (Bloomington Pantagraph)
• An electric car-sharing program in Minneapolis-St. Paul would help reduce the cities’ transportation emissions while expanding clean vehicle access to low-income and minority communities, a clean air advocate says. (Minnesota Reformer)

Andy Balaskovitz

Andy Balaskovitz

Andy has been a journalism fellow for Midwest Energy News since 2014, following four years at City Pulse, Lansing’s alt-weekly newspaper. He covers the state of Michigan and also compiles the Midwest Energy News daily email digest. Andy is a graduate of Michigan State University’s Journalism School, where he focused on topics covered by the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism and wrote for the Great Lakes Echo. He was the 2008 and 2009 recipient of the Edward Meeman Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Environmental Journalism at Michigan State.