EFFICIENCY: Missouri’s consumer advocate asks regulators to suspend utility energy efficiency programs as a way to reduce customer bills during the coronavirus pandemic, but supporters of the programs say it’s an excuse to weaken the state’s efficiency law. (Energy News Network)

PIPELINES: Enbridge submits permit applications to state and federal regulators to build a tunnel for the Line 5 pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac as critics ask officials to delay the process due to the coronavirus. (Detroit News)

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CLEAN ENERGY: Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker taps the former director of the state’s Environmental Protection Agency to craft legislation for 100% renewables by 2050, but the plan’s timeline is unclear. (Rockford Register-Star)

UTILITIES:
• NextEra Energy is exploring a potential acquisition of Kansas utility Evergy, following reports that AEP and Ameren are also interested. (Utility Dive)
• The municipal utility in Springfield, Illinois, is not saying what led to a breakdown at its coal plant that cost the city $1 million and forced it to buy power on the market. (Illinois Times)

BIOFUELS:
• One of the largest U.S. ethanol producers will idle three plants in Iowa and South Dakota and delay opening a facility in Indiana due to COVID-19 challenges. (Sioux City Journal)
• An Ohio ethanol company considers transitioning operations to produce industrial alcohol for hand sanitizer and other medical disinfectants. (Dayton Business Journal)
• A federal appeals court will not rehear a case involving three refineries’ exemptions to biofuel blending mandates, increasing the chances that few refineries will get waivers in the future. (E&E News, subscription)

SOLAR: Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz says solar manufacturers may be allowed to return to work as he allows some businesses to reopen while extending the state’s stay-at-home order. (KARE) 

WIND: A local official in metro Cleveland submits a letter co-signed by more than a dozen local leaders in support of a planned offshore wind project in Lake Erie. (Cleveland.com)

NUCLEAR: An undisclosed number of COVID-19 cases have been documented at a Michigan nuclear plant during its latest refueling outage. (Toledo Blade)

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CLIMATE: Michigan State University hosts a webinar about the school’s climate change efforts as part of a national teach-in on local climate action. (The State News)

COMMENTARY: Indiana ratepayers could pay an additional $126 million until 2026 to keep two uneconomic coal plants open as a result of a bill passed this year, analysts say. (Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis)

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.