Householder indicted, removed as Ohio House speaker

OHIO: State lawmakers remove Rep. Larry Householder as House speaker after he and others were formally indicted on charges involving an alleged $60 million bribery scheme. (Cleveland.com)

ALSO: Environmental groups ask a bankruptcy court for Murray Energy to disclose any involvement it had in the state’s nuclear bailout law. (Columbus Dispatch)

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SOLAR:
• After an unexpected compromise to preserve net metering, Iowa utilities and clean energy groups disagree over how a new law should be interpreted by regulators. (Energy News Network)
• Michigan farmers have an opportunity to retain land and earn additional income by leasing property for solar projects, researchers say.

ComEd officials face questioning over bribery ‘misconduct’

WIND: A bipartisan coalition of 32 northeastern Ohio lawmakers urge state regulators to reconsider their “puzzling” decision on a Lake Erie offshore wind project that developers have said would effectively kill the plan. (Energy News Network)

ALSO: A southeastern Nebraska county is holding a public hearing on commercial wind energy regulations as NextEra seeks to build a $225 million project there. (Beatrice Daily Sun) 

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EMISSIONS: U.S. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said last week in Ohio that he had not read a study linking the agency’s relaxed enforcement during the pandemic with air pollution increases and elevated COVID-19 cases and deaths.

Ohio Republicans to strip House speaker’s title after bribery allegations

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: The pandemic has heightened the need for equity in the nation’s transition to electric transportation, argues a new paper from the Citizens Utility Board of Illinois. (Energy News Network)

OHIO: House Republicans say they will vote Thursday to strip House Speaker Larry Householder of his title after his alleged role in a $60 million bribery scheme to bail out uneconomic power plants. (Cleveland.com)

***SPONSORED LINK: The Cleanie Awards — the #1 awards program in clean technology — is now accepting applications! Submit to win, or contact us with any questions. Applications close July 30.***

SOLAR:
• In its second year, a Chicago-area solar group-buying program remains popular despite the pandemic’s chilling effect on the sector.

Lawsuit seeks FirstEnergy refund after nuclear bailout controversy

SOLAR: Construction is underway on downstate Illinois’ first community solar project under the state’s 2017 Future Energy Jobs Act. (Energy News Network)

ALSO:
• An Indiana county adopts a solar ordinance that includes a land stewardship provision requiring pollinator-friendly groundcover. (Solar Power World)
• Construction is halfway complete on a 150 MW solar project in eastern Wisconsin. (Wisconsin State Journal)

***SPONSORED LINK: The Cleanie Awards — the #1 awards program in clean technology — is now accepting applications! Submit to win, or contact us with any questions.

Ohio bribery scandal could have lasting political, policy impact

UTILITIES: Ohio officials involved in passing the $1 billion nuclear bailout scheme, now at the center of a federal racketeering investigation, face a reckoning that could upend the state’s political landscape. (Associated Press)

ALSO:
• The scandal could also shift energy policy in the Ohio Valley, where coal and nuclear plant operators continue to struggle against natural gas. (Ohio Valley Resource)
• The recent bribery scandals unfolding in Ohio and Illinois illustrate how utilities routinely use power to shield themselves from business risk. (InsideClimate News)
• A nonprofit funded solely by American Electric Power contributed $350,000 to advocacy campaigns that promoted Ohio’s nuclear bailout law. (Columbus Dispatch)
• Nonprofit groups that rely on “dark money” contributions that are difficult to trace fuel political bribery scandals, experts say.