• Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette says dozens of “thugs” attacked his home while calling for the oil pipeline running beneath the Straits of Mackinac to be shut down; one group claimed responsibility for the protest but denies approaching the house. (Detroit News)
• Local officials unanimously approve zoning plans for a new refinery near a national park in western North Dakota, though regulatory hurdles remain. (Bismarck Tribune)

CLIMATE: Author and climate scientist Michael Mann discusses his forthcoming book — a satire on climate denial — as well as the Midwest’s role in leading on clean energy. (Midwest Energy News)

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• Ohio-based Murray Energy is working with lenders to keep the coal company solvent as it avoids filing for bankruptcy within two months. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
• Industry groups from Ohio and Illinois argue that the conviction of former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship “could unfairly expose” other executives to criminal conspiracy charges. (Associated Press)

• Milwaukee residents want oil trains rerouted away from neighborhoods. (WISN-TV)
• Advocates across the U.S. continue to pressure officials to shut down oil trains. (Grist)

WIND: North Dakota regulators unanimously approve plans for a $250 million, 100 megawatt wind project, clearing the way for construction to start. (Associated Press)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: North Dakota’s top oil regulator says the Clean Power Plan would ultimately increase natural gas flaring in the state. (Forum News Service)

SMART METERS: The Michigan Court of Appeals rules Consumers Energy can proceed with rolling out smart meters across its customer base. (Associated Press)

• The number of community solar arrays planned in one southern Minnesota county continues to grow. (Mankato Free Press)
• Local officials seek more information on the tax implications for a planned solar array at Bowling Green State University. (Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune)

NUCLEAR: A steam line ruptured at a southwest Michigan nuclear plant, though officials say it has not impacted the reactor or public safety. (MLive)

RENEWABLES: The economics of developing renewable energy is “growing more attractive for states across the political divide.” (The Atlantic)

UTILITIES: Energy companies are in the midst of a vocabulary project that emphasizes words customers can more easily understand rather than industry jargon. (EnergyWire)

GRID: Updating the U.S. power grid to accommodate new technology is an ambitious, daunting undertaking that would cost hundreds of billions of dollars. (ClimateWire)

REGULATION: Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder appoints an independent to the state Public Service Commission to fill a vacancy. (Crain’s Detroit Business)

COMMENTARY: Amid a string of coal company bankruptcies, “Responsible leadership would have long ago advocated for industry-government-community partnerships to look out for coal-industry employees.” (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.

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