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 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.