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 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.