OHIO: The first hearings for an Ohio bill that would collect millions of dollars from ratepayers across the state to subsidize two FirstEnergy nuclear plants, and possibly coal and gas plants as well, begin today in Columbus. (News-Herald, Energy News Network archive)
• House Speaker Larry Householder, says more than $25,000 in campaign contributions from FirstEnergy did not affect the bill. (Cincinnati Enquirer)
• Householder claims that mandates for utilities to reduce energy use and add renewables haven’t lowered the state’s carbon footprint: “If that was the intent, they’re failing miserably.” (The Blade)
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• The U.S. Supreme Court declines to take up a pair of cases challenging state nuclear subsidies in Illinois and New York.
POWER PLANTS: Ohio Republicans introduce a bill that would provide subsidies for two nuclear plants — and possibly coal and gas plants, too — while defunding renewable energy and efficiency programs. (Energy News Network)
• The U.S. Energy Department says it will invest $100 million in research funds into developing coal power plants with “near zero emissions.” (Houston Chronicle)
• The owner of a fleet of Illinois coal plants supports state legislation that would provide funding to repurpose them for solar and energy storage. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
• A group of Republican lawmakers tie the fate of Medicaid expansion in Montana to a bill seeking to save a struggling coal plant. (Helena Independent Record)
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OVERSIGHT: U.S. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler in an interview defends fossil fuel projects and says climate change is not a top priority. (Reuters)
• The U.S. Senate confirms Colorado native and former oil and gas lobbyist David Bernhardt as the next Interior Secretary. (The Colorado Independent)
• Despite a bipartisan uproar over offshore drilling, coastal Republicans voted to confirm Bernhardt. (ThinkProgress)
• U.S. House Democrats investigate whether top EPA officials violated ethics rules by launching a rollback of air pollution regulations that benefited former lobbying clients. (Politico)
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• Apple says another 21 manufacturers in its supply chain have vowed to get all their electricity from renewable sources. (Washington Post)
• More than 4,200 Amazon employees call on the company to make firm commitments to reduce its carbon footprint. (New York Times)
JOBS: Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan are among the top Midwest states for clean energy jobs thanks to strong automotive and manufacturing roots. (Energy News Network)
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SOLAR: Solar capacity is gaining in urban areas as the number of U.S. cities with more than 50 MW installed climbs to 23, according to a new report. (Greentech Media)
• Michigan looks to remove barriers to solar projects on agricultural land as a way to boost revenue for farmers and meet climate goals. (Energy News Network)
• The number of proposed large-scale solar projects suggests a “boom is coming to the Midwest.” (PV Magazine)
• Small solar companies in Iowa fear legislation to add monthly fees for solar customers could kill the state’s nascent industry. (InsideClimate News)
***SPONSORED LINK: Join solar, clean energy & utility experts at the 6th annual Midwest Solar Expo, May 1-2, 2019 in Minneapolis, MN. Two action-packed days of all-star speakers, exhibition, networking, SolarWakeup Live!