Midwest Energy News

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)

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OHIO:
• An evangelical group’s petition presses anti-abortion lawmakers in Ohio to also oppose fossil fuels as part of a campaign in support of a 100% clean energy standard. (Energy News Network)
• A FirstEnergy customer files a potential class action lawsuit seeking refunds for rate increases related to the state’s $1 billion power plant bailout now at the center of a corruption investigation. (Cleveland.com)
• FirstEnergy CEO Charles Jones said the company acted “transparently, ethically and professionally” as it shifted ownership of two nuclear plants to a subsidiary. (Toledo Blade)
• Ohio House Republicans meet today to decide whether to remove Rep. Larry Householder, who is at the center of the alleged nuclear bailout bribery, as House speaker. (Cincinnati Enquirer)

UTILITIES:
• Following a $1.3 million bribery scandal, ComEd must enact ethics reforms and other policy changes before Chicago will extend the utility’s franchise agreement, Mayor Lori Lightfoot says. (Chicago Sun-Times)
• More than two dozen utilities will participate in a low-income energy assistance fund created by Michigan regulators. (Daily Energy Insider)

CLEAN ENERGY:
• A new report outlines more than a dozen recommendations for speeding up Wisconsin’s clean energy transition. (Wisconsin Public Radio)
• The more than 130-year-old utility in Superior, Wisconsin, is developing plans for its first solar project and is nearly done with advanced meter installations. (Superior Telegram)

COAL:
• Minnesota’s largest utilities plan to phase out their coal plants by the end of the decade, raising concerns among some local officials about lost tax revenue. (MinnPost)
• Coal ash buried beneath a northwestern Indiana coal plant is seeping into groundwater and harming wildlife, federal officials say. (MLive)
• The economic future is uncertain for southern Indiana’s coal-dependent communities. (Indianapolis Monthly)

OVERSIGHT: A state auditor’s report says the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission should be doing more to inform the public about its complex proceedings, including the Line 3 pipeline replacement. (MPR News)

OIL & GAS:
• Marathon would pay $82,000 in fines, invest in air filtration systems and boost data reporting under a consent order with state regulators following an emissions release at its Detroit refinery late last year. (Detroit News)
• Hess Corp. delays plans to expand a natural gas processing plant in North Dakota due to the pandemic. (Bismarck Tribune)

TRANSPORTATION: Canadian National Railroad says a $100 million plan to upgrade and expand its system in Wisconsin will lower transportation emissions by avoiding truck deliveries. (Racine Journal Times)

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POLITICS: The Iowa Farmers Union questions Sen. Joni Ernst’s support for the state’s ethanol sector after she backed pandemic-related aid for the petroleum industry. (E&E News, subscription)

COMMENTARY: A watchdog group says AEP also benefited from the Ohio nuclear bailout law after the company contributed to a nonprofit advocacy group lobbying in support of the bill. (Energy and Policy Institute)

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