U.S. Energy News

Ohio’s bribery scandal was years in the making

OHIO: Advocates in Ohio say the $60 million bribery scandal over HB 6 is just the latest manifestation of a years-long effort to prevent the growth of renewable energy in the state. (Energy News Network)

ALSO:
• Gov. Mike DeWine shifts course and calls for HB 6 to be repealed and replaced through a process the “public can have full confidence in.” (Toledo Blade)
• FirstEnergy CEO Charles Jones, whose role in the controversy is unclear, says in a quarterly earnings call that the company “acted ethically” in connection to the legislation. (E&E News, Cleveland.com)

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UTILITIES:
During ComEd’s eight-year bribery scheme in Illinois, the amount of state-approved revenue the utility collected to deliver power increased more than 30%, according to an analysis. (WBEZ)
A former executive for South Carolina utility SCANA pleads guilty in federal court to defrauding customers and lying about nuclear plant construction progress. (Post and Courier)  
Following the defeat of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Dominion CEO Thomas Farrell’s history of conflict with Black communities — and celebrating the Confederacy — is under increased scrutiny. (HuffPost)

NUCLEAR: The EPA announces an agreement that will boost uranium production in Wyoming by removing hurdles for a mining process that advocates warn increases pollution and strains scarce water resources. (Casper Star Tribune)

COAL:
• Virginia could be on the hook for millions of dollars in mine cleanup costs if more bankruptcies destabilize its bond pool system — a problem the state has known about for decades. (Virginia Mercury)
• Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois proposes a plan to help transition coal-reliant communities that includes expanding Medicare to laid-off coal workers and guaranteeing free higher education to miners and their families. (Reuters) 

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Tesla picks a site near Austin, Texas, to build its largest electric car and truck assembly plant, expected to employ at least 5,000 workers. (Associated Press)

MICROGRIDS: A Massachusetts program is helping communities develop microgrids to improve resiliency and cut carbon emissions. (Energy News Network)

OIL & GAS: A major natural gas project slated to be built in a mostly Black community in eastern Virginia is put on hold by state regulators due to funding and environmental justice concerns. (E&E News)

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POLITICS:
A draft of the Democratic National Committee’s climate platform calls for net zero emissions by 2050. (The Hill)
Republican senators in tight re-election campaigns are calling for more support for clean energy in coronavirus relief legislation. (Roll Call)

COMMENTARY:
• A utility watchdog group says Ohio is the “latest example of monopoly utility companies deceiving lawmakers, regulators, and the public to enrich executives and shareholders. (Energy and Policy Institute)
• An environmental writer says more information is needed to know whether a plan to create jobs by plugging oil wells will live up to expectations. (Grist)
• A law school director says turning the notorious Rikers Island jail in New York City into a sustainable energy center is a way to advance racial justice. (Gizmodo)

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