OVERSIGHT: Safety experts say Wisconsin’s weak oversight of underground utility lines, including for natural gas distribution, has led to deadly consequences. (Madison Capital Times/Wisconsin Watch)

OIL & GAS: Nearly one-third of North Dakota’s oil wells have been idled and the state’s crude production slid by more than 20% in recent days. (Associated Press)

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• PURPA contracts with Consumers Energy are driving a wave of third-party solar development in Michigan, according to a report by state regulators. (MiBiz)
• As some residents are finding out, Michigan homeowner associations can turn down solar installations at their discretion. (WMUK)
• Local officials near Cleveland approve an agreement to install solar panels on three city-owned properties. (Cleveland.com)

PIPELINES: A recent court ruling that halted Keystone XL pipeline construction could affect other U.S. oil and gas pipeline projects, energy analysts say. (E&E News, subscription)

BIOFUELS: Nearly 30% of U.S. biofuel plants have idled, including four in Minnesota, as gasoline demand nosedives during the pandemic. (Star Tribune)

WIND: Almost all of the nearly 1,300 MW of new capacity added in grid operator MISO’s territory since mid-March has been wind power. (S&P Global)

• Indiana coal mining company Hallador, which has ties to former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, receives a $10 million federal loan as part of small-business relief from COVID-19. (Washington Post)
• Indiana utility NIPSCO will hold a virtual public meeting today on plans to close five coal ash ponds in Michigan City. (Indiana Environmental Reporter)

TRANSMISSION: The Iowa Utilities Board will hold a public meeting on May 5 for an underground transmission line planned to move renewable energy from Iowa to the Chicago area. (Bellevue Herald-Leader)

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CLIMATE: A conservative environmental organization announces a climate change platform aimed at countering progressive plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions. (E&E News, subscription)

COMMENTARY: Subsidies for Ohio nuclear and coal plants divert “much-needed resources and investment” from renewables and undermine efforts to decarbonize the electricity sector, researchers say. (Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists)

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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.