UTILITIES: Ohio regulators seek an independent third-party auditor to review FirstEnergy’s corporate separation during the period leading up to the passage of the state’s power plant bailout law. (Akron Beacon Journal)

• Exelon considers plans to separate its multi-state utilities from its generation businesses as it prepares to close two of its 21 nuclear plants. (Greentech Media)
• Otter Tail Power Co. seeks a rate increase to pay for new wind and gas generation as it prepares to close a Minnesota coal plant next year. (Daily Energy Insider)

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COAL: We Energies will retire the oldest units at its Oak Creek, Wisconsin, coal plant complex in 2023 and 2024. (Milwaukee Business Journal)

SOLAR: Toledo, Ohio, plans to buy electricity from a proposed solar array as part of a joint venture with other communities, which the city expects to reduce electricity costs and carbon emissions. (WTOL)

• North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum appoints a coal executive to fill a state House seat won by a Republican candidate who died of COVID-19 before the election, but the state’s attorney general says he does not have authority to do so. (Bismarck Tribune)
• Former coal executive Don Blankenship, who was convicted in a fatal mine explosion before appearing as a third-party presidential nominee this year, collected thousands of votes in key swing states like Michigan. (E&E New, subscription)

PIPELINES: Attorneys for the Army Corps of Engineers argue in federal appeals court that an earlier ruling shutting down a portion of the Dakota Access pipeline ignored the “low risk of a spill” from the project. (Bismarck Tribune)

• The top four wind generating states — Texas, Iowa, Oklahoma and Kansas — all cast majority votes for President Trump in the election. (Wind Power Monthly)
• Developers are set to start construction on a 298 MW wind project in northeastern Nebraska. (North American Windpower)

POLICY: Election results show a deepening divide in the U.S. on energy issues that will make it harder to pursue federal decarbonization and climate change policies. (S&P Global)

COMMENTARY: Clean energy advocates say regional grid operator Southwest Power Pool should stop allowing coal plants to self-commit, which critics say costs tens of millions of dollars when clean energy resources could be deployed. (Natural Resources Defense Council)

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.