PIPELINES: A federal judge rules that the Dakota Access pipeline can continue operating during an updated environmental review. (Inforum)

ALSO: Attention now turns to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as it completes the court-ordered environmental impact statement. (E&E News, subscription)

***SPONSORED LINK: The Midwest Building Decarbonization Coalition via Fresh Energy is hiring for a Manager of Building Policy and Technology consultant to support policy and technology solutions. Apply before June 1.***

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE: Critics say the climate action plan for Minnesota’s most populous county doesn’t include a clear path for retiring a waste-to-energy plant in Minneapolis that disproportionately affects low-income neighborhoods. (Sahan Journal)

OIL & GAS:
• North Dakota used $66 million in federal pandemic relief funds to clean up abandoned oil and gas wells in what environmental advocates call a bail out for small and medium-sized drilling companies. (Inside Climate News)
• Developers explore the potential for oil and gas production in west-central Kansas. (Natural Gas Intelligence)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Automakers’ electric pickup trucks may be a tough sell in rural South Dakota, where farmers have a strong reliance on biofuels. (SDPB Radio)
• An Illinois community college receives a $7.5 million grant to develop a training center for making electric vehicles as startup Rivian plans a nearby manufacturing plant. (WJBC)

POWER PLANTS: University of Missouri officials explore burning fuel pellets made from paper and plastic to replace coal on campus. (Columbia Missourian)

SOLAR: Known for its strong wind energy industry, Iowa is poised to also become a national leader in solar energy production, advocates say. (KWWL)

WIND: A $345 million, 200 MW wind project in central Illinois is scheduled to be operational late next year. (WGLT)

SUSTAINABILITY: Indianapolis officials release a progress report on the city’s sustainability plan, which includes building efficiency targets and cleaner transportation. (Indianapolis Star)

BIOFUELS: Iowa lawmakers decline to take action this session on a bill that would have established statewide biofuel standards. (Iowa Capital Dispatch)

FRAC SAND: A frac sand mining company that filed for bankruptcy last year is liquidating one of four Wisconsin mines, including selling off equipment. (Wisconsin Public Radio)

UTILITIES:
• FirstEnergy attorneys say the utility’s contributions to nonprofit advocacy groups as Ohio lawmakers debated the state’s scandal-tainted power plant bailout law were legal. (Cleveland.com, subscription)
• Nebraska regulators approve a natural gas utility’s plan to recoup more than $25 million over a two-year period for gas supply costs incurred during February’s cold snap. (Lincoln Journal Star)

COMMENTARY:
• Now is the time to invest in large new transmission projects to help support clean energy, a clean energy expert writes. (Energy News Network)
• Minnesota lawmakers have failed to take bold action on clean energy development and climate initiatives despite broad public support for the measures, a climate advocate says. (Pioneer Press)
• Wisconsin regulators’ recent approval of a 200 MW solar project didn’t include adequate public participation, an editorial board says. (Telegraph Herald)

Andy Balaskovitz

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.