RENEWABLES: Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith talks with Midwest Energy News about her efforts to expand clean energy in the state, saying residents “don’t have to choose between renewable energy and reliable energy.”

CLIMATE: At an appearance in Cleveland, the lead climate change lawyer who worked on the Paris climate agreement for the U.S. says the backlash from potentially pulling out of the framework “could well go beyond climate change.” (Midwest Energy News)

***SPONSORED LINK: Stay current on the newest developments in the energy economy by attending the Advancing Renewables in the Midwest Conference April 24-25 in Columbia, Missouri. For registration and details: www.AdvancingRenewables.org.***

BIOFUELS: Some South Dakota farmers face an uncertain future for ethanol production under the Trump administration. (Sioux Falls Argus Leader)

OIL AND GAS:
• Residents in northwest Ohio say the developer of a natural gas pipeline through the area has not fully made payments for land easements. (Toledo Blade)
• Consumers Energy looks to start the process of removing coal tar from sediments along the Flint River in Michigan, the legacy of a former manufactured gas plant. (East Village Magazine)

POLICY: Tribal officials in regions with harsh winters fear the Trump administration’s plan to eliminate the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which provides home heating assistance in cold months. (Associated Press)

CLEAN ENERGY: Experts say energy efficiency and procuring additional renewable generation will be key for major data centers to control energy demand and emissions. (MiBiz)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Chicago’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure will be bolstered with funding from the Volkswagen emission-scandal settlement. (Chicago Tribune)

EFFICIENCY:
• The Chicago City Council’s budget committee gives preliminary approval for a $160 million plan to convert most of the city’s outdoor lighting to LEDs. (CBS Chicago)
• The Trump administration’s plan to eliminate the popular and cost-effective Energy Star program is met with dismay. (Tribune News Service)

SOLAR:
• An Indiana town looks to power its city buildings with solar to cut utility costs. (Columbus Republic)
• A retired Indiana resident who worked decades in coal plants embraces solar power on his property with support from net metering policies. (Terre Haute Tribune Star)
• North Dakota middle school students are recognized by Gov. Doug Burgum for their work on creating a solar-powered charging station for the community’s homeless population. (Bismarck Tribune) 

REGULATION: Ohio state Rep. Bill Seitz hosts a meeting with lobbyists for utilities and submetering companies, which are concerned about potential regulations on the sector, though the discussion did not include consumer advocates. (Columbus Dispatch)

COAL: The Trump administration is moving to re-write Obama-era regulations limiting water pollution from coal-fired power plants. (Associated Press)

EMISSIONS: New statistics show the U.S. energy sector is slowly decarbonizing, but reducing emissions from transportation and cutting energy waste remains a challenge. (Vox)

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.

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