PIPELINES: South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem signs a bill increasing penalties for “riot boosting,” which critics say could have a chilling effect on peaceful pipeline protests. (Associated Press)

ALSO: Minnesota regulators extend the public comment period on permits for Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline until April 30 and will take comments by phone. (Duluth News Tribune)

• Iowa City officials plan to lease public land to MidAmerican Energy for a utility-scale solar project, though some officials express concern about siting the project on prairie habitat. (Iowa City Press-Citizen)
• An Illinois program offers free safety training to Chicago-area fire departments on how to safely handle solar panels while on the job. (Solar Industry)

• North Dakota regulators approve a $4.01 monthly renewable energy rider to help pay for wind energy costs that increased with the phase-out of a federal tax credit. (Prairie Public Radio)
• In lieu of extending federal tax credits for wind and solar, some experts say the IRS could provide certainty by clarifying that existing law protects projects from losing access to the credits amid supply disruptions. (Greentech Media)

• The deadline has passed for the U.S. EPA to appeal a ruling that limits the agency’s use of waivers for exempting small refineries from biofuels regulations, signaling a win for ethanol producers. (Reuters)
• A Minnesota ethanol producer ramps up production of industrial alcohol for sanitizer as the biofuels industry declines due to the coronavirus. (Star Tribune)

UTILITIES: DTE Energy halts construction on a $1 billion natural gas plant in southeastern Michigan and other infrastructure projects while Consumers Energy says it is moving forward with planned construction. (MiBiz)

COAL: Coal mining is deemed an essential function in the Ohio Valley but dropping power demand and fewer international exports due to the coronavirus creates major challenges. (WKMS)

CLEAN ENERGY: Advocates say changes to DTE Energy’s long-term energy plan based on recommendations from state regulators are a positive step for clean energy. (Utility Dive)

COMMENTARY: Illinois lawmakers should enact energy reforms or else “power bills will soar for ratepayers, job opportunities will be lost and the environment will suffer enormous harm” under a recent PJM plan, an editorial board says. (Chicago Sun-Times)

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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.