UTILITIES: A recent appointee to a Michigan consumer advocacy board is the pastor of a church that received a $12,000 grant last year from DTE Energy’s foundation, raising concerns among utility watchdogs and ethics experts. (Energy News Network)

• Environmental advocates say Ameren Missouri’s net zero carbon emissions target by 2050 isn’t fast enough. (St. Louis Public Radio)
• An updated report from the NAACP says fossil fuel companies and utilities often seek to co-opt local organizations and leaders into supporting the industry and opposing local renewable energy projects. (Grist)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join us for the 16th annual Advancing Renewables Conference on the afternoons of May 18 – 19. Hear about compelling topics from industry leaders during an easy-to-use virtual event. Join us at the forefront of renewable energy! http://advancingrenewables.com/ *** 

• The Dakota Access operator argues in federal court that shutting down the pipeline would cause “immediate economic shock” and cause the company to lose roughly $4 million per day in revenue. (Reuters)
• North Dakota officials seek to formally intervene in a federal lawsuit that could decide the fate of the Dakota Access pipeline. (Bismarck Tribune)

CLEAN ENERGY: Columbus, Ohio’s clean energy aggregation program is set to launch in June but is causing confusion among some residents over cost and opting out. (Columbus Dispatch)

COAL: A new Kansas law allows for ratepayer-backed bonds to soften the costs as utilities retire coal plants earlier than planned. (Kansas Reflector)

NUCLEAR: A Minnesota lawmaker suggests a small nuclear plant could support heavy industry on the state’s Iron Range, which drew swift opposition from another legislator. (Pioneer Press)

POLITICS: A Nebraska commission dismisses campaign finance complaints against a cooperative of public power districts that steered funds toward a political committee. (Lincoln Journal Star)

GRID: Grain Belt Express opponents push Missouri state senators to block the use of eminent domain as the company secures land for the clean energy transmission project. (Herald-Whig, Missouri Independent)

• Amazon is backing multiple new solar projects in Ohio as it seeks renewable power for its data and distribution centers. (Columbus Dispatch)
• Construction is set to start on a 79 MW solar project in Michigan after developers secure the necessary financing. (Solar Power World)
• Illinois solar installers look to keep momentum going behind the Clean Energy Jobs Act, which they say would help clear a backlog of planned projects. (WICS)
• An eastern Wisconsin school district is saving about $600 to $800 a month on electricity bills after installing a solar project. (Green Bay Press-Gazette)
• A developer pitches plans for a 68 MW solar project to local officials in northwestern Ohio. (Crescent-News)

EMISSIONS: An Ohio city becomes the 12th community in the state to join a clean energy campaign that aims to reduce carbon emissions 30% by 2030. (Tribune Chronicle)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join Renew Missouri for its webinar “The Deep Freeze: SPP, Texas, and What to Do (and Not Do) in the Future” with Kevin Gunn of Paladin Energy on April 26th at 1:30pm. Only $75 with an hour of Missouri CLE credit. (KS pending. Others by request.) Sign up today! ***

BIOFUELS: Illinois lawmakers advance a bill that would create a statewide renewable fuel standard and require biodiesel in transportation fuel by 2024. (WCSJ)

COMMENTARY: Minnesota’s clean energy transition is happening quickly as power sector emissions have dropped 40% over the past decade, clean energy advocates say. (MinnPost)

Andy compiles the Midwest Energy News digest and was a journalism fellow for Midwest Energy News from 2014-2020. He is managing editor of MiBiz in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and was formerly a reporter and editor at City Pulse, Lansing’s alternative newsweekly.