Midwest Energy News

Ohio House speaker, lobbyists charged in nuclear bailout scheme

OHIO: Federal agents arrest Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and four others accused of accepting $60 million in bribes from an Akron utility to support a $1 billion bailout of Ohio’s two nuclear plants. (Dayton Daily News)

ALSO:
• The money was allegedly used to enrich the defendants and funneled to political candidates who would support Householder’s election as Speaker. (NPR)
• A spokesperson for FirstEnergy, which is not named in the complaint, confirmed that it has received subpoenas and will “fully cooperate.” (Cincinnati Enquirer)
• Gov. Mike DeWine calls for Householder’s resignation while clean energy advocates say the power plant bailout law should be re-examined or repealed. (Cleveland.com)
• Read previous Energy News Network coverage on the web of dark money spending surrounding Ohio’s nuclear and coal bailout. (Energy News Network)

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UTILITIES: Wisconsin-based Alliant Energy announces a net zero emissions electricity goal by 2050, saying it will deliver billions of dollars in savings for customers. (Wisconsin State Journal)

HYDROELECTRIC: The manager of a southern Minnesota hydroelectric dam says it will end its lease as repair costs mount for the local government. (Mankato Free Press)

SOLAR:
• A northern Michigan municipal utility considers proposals for multiple solar projects, including a 9 MW array. (Traverse City Ticker)
• Central Indiana officials delay action on a countywide moratorium on utility-scale solar projects, opening a brief window for potential development. (Anderson Herald Bulletin)
• Plans for a major solar project in northwestern Indiana face opposition from some nearby landowners. (WNDU)

OIL & GAS: Seven former and current employees file a lawsuit against the developer of a planned oil refinery near a national park in North Dakota claiming they are owed wages and bonuses. (Associated Press)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• EV startup Rivian bolsters its lobbying team to push Congress for tax incentives, block various fees on drivers and ask states to allow direct vehicle sales to customers. (E&E News, subscription)
• Automakers are yet to significantly compete with Tesla in the electric vehicle market. (New York Times)

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POLITICS: The Democratic Senate hopeful from Iowa criticizes incumbent Sen. Joni Ernst’s ethanol record after previously accepting campaign contributions from oil industry officials. (E&E News, subscription)

COMMENTARY:
• An Ohio editorial board routinely criticized the state bailout bill at the center of a bribery scandal, highlighting a “legislative system that rewards deep-pocketed lobbyists and dark-money contributors.” (Cleveland.com)
• An advocate says Minnesota Power’s long-term energy plan has a chance to “unify and focus teamwork” in the region to promote clean energy and address climate change. (Duluth News Tribune)

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