OIL & GAS: A North Dakota program aims to keep roughly 1,000 oil workers employed through the year by plugging abandoned wells. (Bismarck Tribune)

ALSO:
• Environmental groups ask an Ohio appeals court to revoke drilling permits to construct large underground salt caverns to store natural gas liquids along the Ohio River. (Associated Press)
• The oil and gas industry is among sectors that have had less environmental monitoring as the Trump administration lifted regulations during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Associated Press)

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SOLAR:
• A solar installation on a Minneapolis building is unique for incorporating an artful design in a highly visible area. (Energy News Network)
• The University of Notre Dame commits to purchasing credits equal to 40% of the output from a 22 MW Indiana solar project. (Inside Indiana Business)

RENEWABLES:
• Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s clean energy plan targets 100% renewables by 2050 while putting a price on carbon emissions to phase out polluting power plants. (E&E News, subscription)
• Pritzker’s plan receives mixed reactions from consumer advocates, business groups and utilities. (State Journal-Register)

COAL: Indiana researchers say communities will have to think strategically as the anticipated closure of coal plants will lead to hundreds of layoffs and lost tax revenue. (Indiana Public Media)

OHIO:
• American Electric Power investors file a lawsuit alleging the utility covertly participated in a scheme to bail out uneconomic nuclear and coal plants. (Cleveland.com)
• A small crowd of protesters gather in Akron, Ohio, calling for the repeal of the legislation at the center of the alleged bribery scandal. (Akron Beacon Journal)

WIND: Developers move forward with plans for a 500 MW wind project in central North Dakota, hoping to complete it in 2022. (Bismarck Tribune)

NUCLEAR:
• Xcel Energy looks to extend the lives of its existing nuclear plants while exploring options for smaller reactors as it transitions to entirely carbon-free power. (Star Tribune)
• Michigan’s Fermi 2 nuclear plant was not affected by a minor earthquake in the area on Friday. (Detroit News)

PIPELINES: Minnesota’s commerce commissioner defends the state’s challenge of the Line 3 pipeline replacement project during a confirmation hearing in the GOP-led state Senate. (MPR News)

UTILITIES: The CEO of Minnesota-based Allete discusses her new leadership role during the pandemic and the company’s shift to clean energy. (Star Tribune)

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POWER PLANTS: A proposed 1,200 MW natural gas plant in northeastern Illinois receives financing. (Crain’s Chicago Business)

COMMENTARY: Author and activist Winona LaDuke says Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz’s decision to continue challenging the Line 3 pipeline replacement project helps promote a “just transition” from fossil fuels. (Star Tribune)

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.