CONGRESS: U.S. Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio is facing pushback from conservation groups over a bill that critics say would cut protection of natural areas while benefitting the fossil fuel industry. (Midwest Energy News)

MINNESOTA: A conservative energy group forms in Minnesota to focus on transitioning away from coal and embracing clean energy. (Midwest Energy News)

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• The Sierra Club asks its supporters to send letters to Ohio regulators backing AEP’s income-guarantee request. (Columbus Business First)
Pennsylvania regulators are “unnerved” about the two income-guarantee requests in Ohio, saying a decision will have a direct impact on generators and consumers in their state. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
An Ohio municipal utility seeks rate increases as it expects electric costs to go up as a result of government regulations. (Dayton Daily News)

• Officials at a northern Michigan municipal utility discuss rates at which solar generators are reimbursed as plans for a major project develop there. (Traverse City Record-Eagle)
• The number of states with solar at grid parity could be vastly different depending on the way rates are structured. (Utility Dive)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Indiana will continue to allow Tesla to sell its cars in the state following backlash toward a bill that would have required the company to adopt a franchise model. (Indianapolis Star)

• Iowa’s Terry Branstad is among 17 governors who have signed an accord committing their states to clean energy development. (Radio Iowa)
Indiana utilities look to diversify their energy portfolios to be less dependent on coal. (South Bend Tribune)

MERGER: Washington D.C. regulators are scheduled to decide today on whether to approve the $6.8 billion merger between Pepco and Chicago-based Exelon. (Baltimore Business Journal)

WIND: A turbine collapses in Michigan during a snowstorm; no injuries are reported. (MLive)

OIL-BY-RAIL: The number of freight carloads of crude oil dropped 17 percent last year after oil prices collapsed. (Associated Press)

TRANSMISSION: A Wisconsin town is challenging in court the proposed route of a high-voltage transmission line. (LaCrosse Tribune)

BIOFUELS: In Missouri, biofuels have helped corn and soybean producers find new markets to unload excess supplies. (Missouri Farmer Today)

RESEARCH: U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz pledges to improve the “broken” relationship between the Department of Energy and national energy laboratories. (E&E Daily)

• A Murray Energy subsidiary lays off another 100 employees at one of its Illinois coal mines. (Southern Business Journal)
An Illinois man starts a movement to “make coal great again.” (WYMT-TV)

• An alternative electric supplier says it’s time for Michigan to remove its 10 percent cap on electric choice in order to expand options for all ratepayers. (Midwest Energy News)
While Michigan’s governor has talked for years about new energy policy, “little has actually been accomplished to make Michigan’s energy future appreciably more reliable, affordable, or sustainable.” (Union of Concerned Scientists)
• The $57 million in proceeds from selling Peabody Energy’s stake in the Prairie State Energy Campus should go back to ratepayers rather than the company. (Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis)

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.

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