OHIO: A Democratic state lawmaker calls for an independent investigation into FirstEnergy’s dealings with former Public Utilities Commission chair Sam Randazzo, who resigned in November after the FBI raided his home. (Statehouse News Bureau)

CLIMATE: A Michigan agency reaches a deal with DTE Energy to purchase carbon offsets from a state forest, believed to be the first such arrangement in the country. (Michigan Radio)

• About 2,000 people gathered yesterday at the Minnesota Capitol to protest the Line 3 pipeline, including a group that walked 256 miles from near the pipeline site to the event. (Minnesota Reformer)
• A Missouri natural gas pipeline may continue operating as its owner seeks a rehearing of a case that vacated a federal permit for the project. (Reuters)

HYDROGEN: The CEO of a company proposing a blue hydrogen hub in North Dakota says their process will capture 95% of emissions, and that a recent study questioning the climate benefit is based on an outdated method. (Williston Herald)

• Rural cooperatives in Minnesota have taken a leading role in adopting clean grid technology, sometimes at a pace quicker than larger investor-owned utilities. (Energy News Network)
•  An Illinois electric supplier is installing a microgrid at its headquarters, including 6,000 solar panels backed by flywheel and battery storage. (Solar Builder)

• Officials in an Ohio county discuss how to proceed as a new state law requires local approval of renewable energy projects: “We didn’t ask for this authority but now we have it.” (The Gazette)
• A county in western Ohio proposes new restrictions on utility-scale wind and solar projects, aimed at protecting the area’s tourism industry. (Dayton Daily News)

NUCLEAR: Rural communities dependent on tax revenue from the Byron nuclear plant in Illinois worry about a looming shutdown, with time running out for state lawmakers to respond. (E&E News)

• CenterPoint Energy is seeking regulatory approval to buy 335 MW of solar generation from two projects under development in Indiana. (Renewables Now)
• A 136-acre solar farm in Illinois is on hold because it depends on pending legislation that would allow energy credits to be traded across state lines. (Star Courier, subscription)

WIND: An appeals court upholds a ruling preventing Nebraska Public Power District from canceling contracts with four wind farms. (Lincoln Journal Star)

BIOENERGY: A Wisconsin professor says there is still a lot of potential growth for methane capture at dairy farms, but projects are difficult to get off the ground. (Wisconsin State Farmer)

COMMENTARY: A policy analyst outlines four opportunities for green hydrogen in the Midwest. (Natural Resources Defense Council)

Ken is the director of the Energy News Network at Fresh Energy and is a founding editor of both Midwest Energy News and Southeast Energy News. Prior to joining Fresh Energy, he was the managing editor for online news at Minnesota Public Radio. He started his journalism career in 2002 as a copy editor for the Duluth News Tribune before spending five years at the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, where he worked as a copy editor, online producer, features editor and night city editor. A Nebraska native, Ken has a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master's degree from the University of Oregon. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors.