PIPELINES: The oil market disruption from COVID-19 is a short-term challenge that doesn’t change the need to replace the Line 3 pipeline, Enbridge tells Minnesota regulators. (Star Tribune)

ALSO: The Trump administration makes it more difficult for states to challenge oil and gas pipeline projects under the federal Clean Water Act. (NPR)

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COAL:
Murray Energy’s bleak financial outlook is pushing Ohio’s nearly insolvent mine reclamation fund to the brink of collapse, experts warn. (E&E News, subscription)
• A former federal energy regulator says utilities’ use of self-scheduling for coal plants and resulting costs on customers should be addressed by state regulators, as is being examined in Minnesota, Missouri and Indiana. (Utility Dive)
• Some North Dakota officials want to find a new owner for the Coal Creek Station, which is scheduled to close in 2022, and use the site for carbon capture. (Bismarck Tribune)

SOLAR:
• An installation at a northwestern Wisconsin school is meant to supply half of the facility’s electricity and save $12,600 a year. (Superior Telegram)
• Ameren Missouri plans to expand its community solar program after recent approval by state regulators. (News Tribune)

UTILITIES:
• A former Wisconsin Senate minority leader joins Dairyland Power Cooperative as the utility’s government relations manager. (Wisconsin State Journal)
• Iowa utility MidAmerican Energy returned almost all of its 3,300 employees to company offices this week while most utilities take a more cautious approach as a result of the pandemic. (E&E News, subscription)

SMART METERS: Residents in a southeastern Iowa city say an effort by Alliant Energy to deploy smart meters conflicts with their spiritual beliefs. (Business Insider)

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EFFICIENCY: A federal study finds utility-run natural gas energy efficiency programs are cheaper than the fuel itself, which efficiency advocates say could lead to unnecessary infrastructure. (Utility Dive)

COMMENTARY:
• The Iowa Conservative Energy Forum says the state should “double down” on wind energy to help the post-pandemic economic recovery. (Mason City Globe Gazette)
• If Illinois leaders are serious about “promoting economic activity, creating jobs and helping protect consumers’ pocketbooks,” they should support investments in clean energy, an environmental group says. (Environmental Defense Fund)
• A state senator from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula says a recent energy task force report underscores the need for a Line 5 pipeline tunnel beneath the Straits of Mackinac. (Escanaba Daily Press)

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.