• Opening arguments begin in the bribery trial of former House Speaker Larry Householder, whose attorneys argue that he exercised his free speech to pass power plant legislation that benefits utility customers. (Ohio Capital Journal)
• Prosecutors argue that the sweeping bribery scheme originated from Househoulder’s January 2017 trip to Washington D.C. on a FirstEnergy private jet with multiple former FirstEnergy executives. (Cleveland.com)

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• Legislation awaiting Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s signature would create statewide standards for siting solar and wind projects. (Illinois Public Media)
• Illinois rural development officials prepare for a “historic investment” of federal funding to bring clean energy to farmers and small businesses. (Daily News)

OIL & GAS: The largest U.S. oil and gas well owner is on the verge of bankruptcy, which could lead to the abandonment of 70,000 wells throughout Appalachia without plugging them. (Environmental Health News)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: “It’s a big deal,” President Biden says of plans by Madison, Wisconsin’s transit agency to buy 46 electric buses to replace diesel models. (Wisconsin State Journal)

• An Illinois city approves plans to expand a community solar project at a capped landfill that would benefit low-income residents. (WCIA)
• Plans for an all-electric, solar-powered, net zero fire station in Ann Arbor, Michigan, could cost more than $10 million. (MLive)
• A federal program will help small businesses install solar in three diverse Twin Cities business districts. (Sahan Journal)

POLITICS: Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot calls on a challenger — who has not been accused of wrongdoing — in the city’s mayoral race to “come clean” about his alleged involvement in a scandal involving former House Speaker Michael Madigan and ComEd. (WGN)

CLIMATE: Fossil fuel interests with a history of influencing U.S. energy and social policies are driving efforts against environmental, social and governance investment standards. (S&P Global)

• The Keystone pipeline operator says nearly 90% of the 14,000 barrels of recently spilled oil in Kansas has been recovered. (WIBW)
• A Midwest carbon pipeline developer seeks to withdraw its application for the 250-mile section that would traverse Illinois so it can file an amended application. (Quad-City Times) 

• Average interconnection costs for projects waiting to be built in grid operator PJM’s territory increased eightfold from 2020 to 2022. (Utility Dive)
• U.S. utilities prepare for more distributed energy resources to come online this year, bringing opportunities for load flexibility. (Utility Dive)

EFFICIENCY: A partnership between Detroit-based utility DTE Energy and local energy firms trains new workers for energy efficiency projects. (FOX 2)

WIND: A North Dakota family sues the operator of a wind farm that regulators have determined was built too close to their house. (Bismarck Tribune)

COMMENTARY: An Iowa student columnist says carbon pipelines’ potential benefits for the state’s ethanol industry are worth considering as proposals face public backlash. (Daily Iowan)

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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.