OVERSIGHT: State legislation resurfaces that seeks an across-the-board 30% cut to “regulatory restrictions” that critics say would significantly weaken consumer protections and clean energy development. (Energy News Network)

ALSO:
• Minnesota regulators open a formal investigation into an expected spike in utility bills from last week’s surge in U.S. gas prices; some customers are expected to pay $400 more for heating this month. (Star Tribune)
• Former Michigan Public Service Commission Chair Sally Talberg is among five members to resign from Texas grid operator ERCOT’s board just weeks after she was appointed to the body. (Texas Tribune)

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PIPELINES:
• An administrative law judge rules that Michigan regulators do not have to consider climate change when considering Enbridge’s application to build a tunnel for Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac. (Michigan Advance)
• Two men charged last week in a Minnesota human trafficking bust are Line 3 pipeline workers, fueling activists’ concerns that the project brings higher risk of sex crimes to the area. (Duluth News Tribune)
• Kansas and Minnesota are among four states considering legislation on harsher penalties for activists protesting fossil fuel projects such as pipelines. (HuffPost)

TRANSMISSION: The Missouri House signals support for a bill that would require the Grain Belt Express to get approval from each of the eight county commissions where the transmission project would travel. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

POLICY: Kansas lawmakers begin work on developing a statewide energy plan that has renewed interest after rolling blackouts were needed to stabilize the power grid. (Topeka Capital-Journal)

GRID: Experts say Michigan’s electric grid is unique from Texas’ though the state still faces reliability challenges that will require investments. (Bridge Michigan)

NUCLEAR: The Ohio Senate advances a bill to repeal just the nuclear subsidies of the state’s HB 6 at the center of a bribery scandal. (Statehouse News Bureau)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• The U.S. Postal Service contracts with a Wisconsin company to build a fleet of delivery vehicles equipped with either internal combustion engines or electric powertrains. (Detroit Free Press)
• Ohio startup Lordstown Motors is entering its electric truck in a major off-road race in Mexico, which company officials say is not a publicity stunt. (Autoweek)

SOLAR:
• CenterPoint Energy seeks regulatory approval to buy a 300 MW solar project in Indiana and buy an additional 100 MW of in-state solar capacity. (Renewables Now)
• Construction begins on a 200 MW solar project in east-central Illinois. (PV Magazine)

UTILITIES:
• Exelon announces plans to split into two companies with one composed of its regulated utilities and another for its power generating operations. (Chicago Sun-Times)
• Indianapolis Power & Light undergoes a major rebranding and will now be named AES Indiana to reflect its parent company. (Indianapolis Business Journal)

COMMENTARY:
• Ohio lawmakers and regulators should follow a major pension fund by requiring more financial disclosures and transparency by FirstEnergy, an editorial board writes. (Cleveland.com)
• Recent cold weather and grid problems in other states put a “white-hot spotlight on the importance of reliability” in Minnesota’s electric grid, a clean energy advocate writes. (MinnPost)
• Rejoining the Paris climate agreement opens clean energy and transportation investment opportunities in the Midwest, writes the head of the Environmental Law and Policy Center. (Des Moines Register)
• An Indiana conservative clean energy group urges lawmakers to retain net metering as a “market-based solution” that saves customers money. (Indianapolis Star)

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.