EFFICIENCY: The legacy of systemic racism means many Black and other minority-owned businesses continue to struggle with access to capital, which can be particularly challenging when pursuing financing for energy efficiency projects. (Energy News Network)

TRANSPORTATION: A federally funded effort has contributed to the buildout of electric vehicle charging and compressed natural gas stations along an interstate highway corridor connecting Michigan and Montana. (Energy News Network)

• The Ohio Supreme Court postpones the collection of $170 million to support Ohio nuclear plants under a law at the center of a bribery scandal. (Cleveland.com)
• Newly revealed emails and text messages show the extent of lobbying pressure lawmakers faced to support HB 6. (Columbus Dispatch)
• FirstEnergy faces more than a dozen shareholder lawsuits that could result in millions of dollars worth of settlements. (Associated Press)
• Ohio Republican leadership will decide over the coming months whether to expel state Rep. Larry Householder over his role in the HB 6 scandal. (WOSU)

CLIMATE: Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers’ administration begins to review state building codes as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (Wisconsin State Journal)

• Wisconsin regulators plan to update the state’s 17-year-old rules governing distributed generation projects as customer-owned solar installations continue to increase. (Wisconsin State Journal)
• Officials are considering plans for a solar project on about 36 acres of a toxic former industrial site on Chicago’s Southeast Side. (Chicago Sun-Times)
• Madison Gas and Electric files plans for a $15.3 million, 8 MW solar project to provide power to local city and school buildings. (Wisconsin State Journal)
• Participation is growing in a solar energy job training program in Madison, Wisconsin. (Wisconsin State Journal)

NATURAL GAS: Critics question whether a massive natural gas distribution line replacement project in Chicago, scheduled to be completed in 2040, is still in the public interest as the power sector transitions to renewables. (Chicago Tribune)

• Minnesota regulators approve Xcel Energy’s $750 million plan to repower and extend the life of several large-scale wind projects, which the utility says will result in ratepayer savings. (Star Tribune)
• Ameren takes ownership of a 400 MW wind project in northern Missouri as the utility boosts its renewable energy portfolio. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
• A county board in central Illinois considers plans for a 120-turbine wind project that includes taller turbines than are allowed under a local ordinance. (News-Gazette)
• Enel Green Power begins operating the 199 MW expansion of a Kansas wind project while also bringing online a 236 MW wind project in Missouri. (ReNews)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Michigan regulators approve a $12.2 million Consumers Energy pilot program to boost adoption of electrified commercial fleet vehicles. (MiBiz)

NUCLEAR: Companies seek to transfer the ownership of a southwestern Michigan nuclear plant ahead of a planned permanent closure starting in 2022. (MLive)

• The Red Lake and White Earth Bands of Ojibwe ask the Minnesota Court of Appeals to halt construction on the Line 3 replacement until lawsuits challenging the project can be heard. (MPR News)
• Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is optimistic that the state will receive a favorable court ruling to shut down Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac later this spring. (Michigan Advance)

BIOENERGY: South Sioux City, Nebraska, filed suit against the owner of a shuttered waste-to-energy plant last month claiming the company misrepresented its ability to operate the facility. (Sioux City Journal)

OIL & GAS: North Dakota officials call 2020 a “pretty terrible” year for the oil industry, which isn’t expected to fully bounce back from the pandemic-induced downturn until at least 2022. (Bismarck Tribune)

COMMENTARY: Indiana lawmakers’ attempts to maintain policies that slow the transition from coal power to clean energy is “unwise and wrong-headed,” an editorial board says. (Terre Haute Tribune-Star)

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.