ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A southwestern Illinois school district purchases its first round of electric buses using Volkswagen settlement funds with a tentative plan to replace half of its fleet with electric models in 15 years. (Energy News Network)

OIL & GAS: North Dakota officials launch a task force to help oil and gas drillers with a variety of incentives as the number of wells shrinks and production hits its lowest level in five years. (Associated Press)

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SOLAR: A developer will seek approval from state regulators in the coming months for a 150 MW solar project in eastern Wisconsin. (Sheboygan Press)

POLICY: Clean energy legislation is on hold in Minnesota, Illinois and Michigan as lawmakers focus their attention on the pandemic. (National Law Review)

GRID: Decreased power demand combined with weak natural gas prices has pushed down power costs across grid operator MISO’s territory. (S&P Global)

COAL:
• The coronavirus pandemic has so far not altered utility plans to retire coal plants, including facilities in Indiana and Michigan. (S&P Global)
• A western Michigan county receives federal grant funding for environmental assessments at the site of a coal plant scheduled to close this year. (MiBiz)

UTILITIES:
• Ohio utility AEP expects overall sales to decline 3.4% due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Columbus Business First)
• A municipal utility in southern Michigan could face $2.3 million in additional power costs in the coming year as a result of the most recent MISO capacity auction. (Coldwater Daily Reporter)

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BIOFUELS: How the ethanol industry recovers from the pandemic will significantly affect the future of major agribusiness The Andersons, which has stopped ethanol production at four facilities. (Toledo Blade)

COMMENTARY:
A coalition of advocacy groups seek to hold Duke Energy “accountable for its policies” that affect its customers and, by extension, “impede the nation’s progress toward a clean energy future.” (Environmental Working Group)
• Indigenous activist Chase Iron Eyes said recent court rulings on the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines “justify the stand” he and others took at Standing Rock. (Daily Climate)

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.