COAL: The coronavirus pandemic has worsened already high unemployment rates in Ohio coal communities that were struggling with the industry’s downturn. (Energy News Network)

ALSO: A coal ash removal plan at five sites in northwestern Indiana has raised health and environmental concerns, particularly for communities of color. (Associated Press)

***SPONSORED LINK: Applications are now open for the Veterans Advanced Energy Fellowship, a yearlong program for high-performing, high-potential military veterans in advanced energy, presented by the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center. Learn more at www.vetsenergyproject.org/fellowship.***

HYDROELECTRIC: The operator of a mid-Michigan dam that broke Tuesday, causing severe flooding, had its hydroelectric license revoked in 2018 by federal energy regulators due to numerous safety violations. (Detroit News)

PIPELINES: The premier of Alberta, Canada, says he is prepared for court challenges if Joe Biden is elected and follows through on a pledge to revoke a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline. (Calgary Herald)

UTILITIES: A shareholder group wants Wisconsin utility Madison Gas and Electric to appoint a board member with environmental health expertise who will promote the benefits of clean energy. (WUWM)

EFFICIENCY: Consumers Energy is giving away 100,000 Google Nest thermostats to customers to help conserve power during the pandemic. (MLive)

CLIMATE: While Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has gained public support for his COVID-19 response and following scientific consensus, his approach to climate change has been less consistent. (Grist)

SOLAR:
Geronimo Energy proposes a 128 MW solar project in western South Dakota. (KELO)
• A Kansas City suburb adopts an ordinance requiring new commercial and residential structures to be designed with a roof and electrical system that support solar arrays. (Shawnee Mission Post)
• An Ohio school district considers a solar power contract that would save it $1.5 million over 20 years. (Fulton County Expositor)

TRANSPORTATION: Kansas City, Missouri, is among the first cities to pilot zero-fare transit in an effort to drive up ridership of public transportation. (Environment Missouri)

OIL & GAS: Google says it will no longer build artificial intelligence tools for speeding up oil and gas extraction following pressure from Greenpeace. (Associated Press)

***SPONSORED LINK: Green Energy Ohio invites you to a virtual conversation about Clean Energy in the Age of Coronavirus, May 21 at noon EDT. Featuring ENN reporter Kathiann Kowalski and Dan Gearino from InsideClimate News. Register today!***

GRID: A proposed minimum offer price rule could increase costs for customers in grid operator PJM’s territory by up to $2.6 billion annually, according to a recent analysis. (Utility Dive)

COMMENTARY:
• The president and CEO of FirstEnergy responds to a recent editorial, saying it falsely linked the utility with a now unaffiliated company and showed “blatant smear tactics.” (Toledo Blade)
• Bankruptcy filings show Murray Energy paid nearly $1 million last year to a law firm that has fought wind and solar development in Ohio, a watchdog group reports. (Energy and Policy Institute)

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.