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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SOLAR:
• 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)

COAL:
• 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)

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.