OHIO: FirstEnergy now says a $4 million payment to a former consultant turned state regulator “may have been for purposes other than those represented within the consulting agreement.” (Cleveland.com)

ALSO:
• Two Republican state representatives introduce legislation to repeal the state’s power plant subsidy law at the center of a corruption investigation. (LimaOhio.com)
• The state Senate passes a bill to eliminate a provision in HB 6 that guarantees FirstEnergy $978 million in annual revenue under a decoupling provision. (Cleveland.com)

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POLLUTION: Replacing an eastern Michigan coal plant with a natural gas plant will deny a more meaningful reduction in ozone pollution to an area at high risk for respiratory diseases, environmental advocates say. (Energy News Network)

COAL:
• Kansas City utility Evergy now supports proposals in Kansas and Missouri to authorize coal plant securitization meant to shield customers and investors from costs associated with accelerated plant retirements. (Energy News Network)
• Indiana utility NIPSCO will retire two units at a 1,625 MW coal plant by the end of the year as it accelerates its transition to clean energy. (S&P Global)
• The utility owners of a Wisconsin coal plant propose to spend $19.2 million to prevent groundwater contamination as they move to close the facility in the next four years. (Wisconsin State Journal)
• A southern Illinois coal plant that was once an “economic engine in its day” is demolished. (St. Louis Public Radio)

WIND:
• Boston University now sources all of its electricity from a new wind project in South Dakota, which school officials say is a more effective way to reduce emissions. (Energy News Network)
• DTE Energy officials say operational problems with wind turbines like those seen in Texas are unlikely in Michigan because the equipment is prepared for cold weather. (WJRT)

GRID: Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts calls the need for rolling blackouts in his state “completely unacceptable” as states farther south face grid challenges. (Associated Press)

SOLAR: Missouri lawmakers consider legislation to impose various fees on utility customers who generate their own solar power that supporters claim is about fairness. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Ohio electric vehicle startup Lordstown Motors wants the state to allow the company to directly sell its vehicles to customers rather than auto dealerships. (Associated Press)
• Lima, Ohio, joins a coalition exploring the potential to transition the city’s fleet to electric vehicles. (LimaOhio.com)

UTILITIES: Minnesota Power plans to seek a rate increase later this year following revenue declines during the pandemic as major energy users scaled back. (Star Tribune)

BIOFUELS: Iowa lawmakers begin work on legislation for a statewide ethanol mandate that would require gas pumps to offer an at least 10% ethanol blend by 2024. (Radio Iowa)

EFFICIENCY: A utility management platform partners with a southeastern Michigan apartment association to help tenants make energy efficiency upgrades. (MLive)

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POLICY: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission can play a key role in helping the Biden administration achieve climate goals, experts say. (Grist)

COMMENTARY: Nebraska has major solar energy potential and is well positioned to transition to hydrogen gas infrastructure to help lure industrial development, a researcher says. (Lincoln Journal-Star)

Andy Balaskovitz

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.