OHIO: FirstEnergy is neither confirming or denying whether it spent ratepayer funds on activities related to Ohio’s power plant bailout law, which could support a broad scope for state regulators’ independent audit of the utility. (Energy News Network / Eye on Ohio)

• The former Ohio Republican Party chairman charged with racketeering in the HB 6 corruption scandal maintains his innocence and says his role has been overstated. (Cincinnati Enquirer)
• A federal judge in Ohio will consider the diversity of law firms leading a proposed shareholder class action lawsuit against FirstEnergy over alleged bribes to former House Speaker Larry Householder. (Reuters)

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PIPELINES: Canadian officials claim Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s decision to shut down Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac will cost thousands of jobs and raise gasoline prices. (Detroit Free Press)

• Critics worry a report on the future of Indiana’s energy portfolio could try to make the case for slowing the transition from fossil fuels. (Indianapolis Star)
• Mayors from the Ohio Valley region unveil a $60 billion plan to help communities transition from fossil fuels and invest in clean energy projects. (Smart Cities Dive) 

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Ameren Missouri is ramping up an incentive program that provides rebates for installing electric vehicle charging stations. (St. Louis Business Journal)

• A new group-buying cooperative forms in Northwest Indiana to help lower solar installation costs for residents and businesses. (Times of Northwest Indiana)
• Six communities in Chicago’s northern suburbs partner to incentivize residents, schools and business owners to join a community solar program. (Chicago Tribune)
• A Wisconsin solar developer raises $50 million in capital that will allow it to own more solar projects once they’re completed. (Milwaukee Business Journal)

POLICY: North Dakota oil industry officials hope President-elect Joe Biden avoids an aggressive climate change agenda while environmental groups say the state has an opportunity to pursue clean energy. (Bismarck Tribune)

COAL: Illinois Basin third-quarter coal production increased 20% from the previous quarter but remained 31% below the same period last year. (S&P Global)

COMMENTARY: St. Louis’ latest climate change initiative “takes sustainability and equity to the next level” with a job-training program focused on underserved residents, clean energy advocates say. (Natural Resources Defense Council)

Andy Balaskovitz

Andy has been a journalism fellow for Midwest Energy News since 2014, following four years at City Pulse, Lansing’s alt-weekly newspaper. He covers the state of Michigan and also compiles the Midwest Energy News daily email digest. Andy is a graduate of Michigan State University’s Journalism School, where he focused on topics covered by the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism and wrote for the Great Lakes Echo. He was the 2008 and 2009 recipient of the Edward Meeman Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Environmental Journalism at Michigan State.