OVERSIGHT: The EPA’s inspector general has launched an investigation into whether the Trump administration’s rollback of fuel economy standards violated the law. (New York Times)

ALSO: President Trump nominates a Democrat to fill a long-vacant Federal Energy Regulatory Commission seat, maintaining the board’s traditional bipartisan split. (Utility Dive)

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• An evangelical group’s petition presses anti-abortion lawmakers in Ohio to also oppose fossil fuels as part of a campaign in support of a 100% clean energy standard. (Vxartnews)
Democrats see climate change as a way to attract some centrist Trump voters in November. (Washington Examiner)

As the nation grapples with the pandemic and record heat waves, utilities prepare to reinstate shut-offs for customers who can’t pay their bills. (NPR)
• A FirstEnergy customer in Ohio files a potential class action lawsuit seeking refunds for rate increases related to the state’s $1 billion power plant bailout, now at the center of a corruption investigation. (Cleveland.com)
• Following a $1.3 million bribery scandal, ComEd must enact ethics reforms and other policy changes before Chicago will extend the utility’s franchise agreement, Mayor Lori Lightfoot says. (Chicago Sun-Times)

NUCLEAR: Opponents are reviving questions about New Jersey’s nuclear subsidies in the wake of Ohio’s bribery scandal. (NJ Spotlight)

The push to close a Philadelphia refinery highlights how Black communities are at greater risk from pollution. (New York Times Magazine)
Oil and gas companies and utilities fund police foundations in major U.S. cities, according to a report by a nonprofit think tank. (The Guardian)
Opponents of a Maine transmission line say they still have not received requested information on police surveillance of their group. (Portland Press Herald)

SOLAR: Construction is underway on downstate Illinois’ first community solar project under the state’s 2017 Future Energy Jobs Act. (Vxartnews)

• An Arizona utility details the cause of the country’s most high-profile grid battery fire and new safety requirements to prevent future incidents. (Greentech Media)
• A California pilot project aims to measure the economic value of home-based batteries as a grid management tool. (Greentech Media)
• Experts debate whether a massive solar and storage project powering a Nevada data center can be replicated. (Greentech Media)

PIPELINES: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will propose an amendment in the next federal budget bill to prohibit the Army Corps from using federal money to issue pipeline permits under part of the Clean Water Act. (HuffPost)

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• Minnesota’s largest utilities plan to phase out their coal plants by the end of the decade, raising concerns among some local officials about lost tax revenue. (MinnPost)
• The economic future is uncertain for southern Indiana’s coal-dependent communities. (Indianapolis Monthly)

• A science writer says we’ve been having the wrong conversation about nuclear power. (Yale Climate Connections)
A journalist says corporations are often afforded the status of “personhood” except for criminal punishment, citing PG&E as a prime example. (Forbes)

Ken is the director of the Vxartnews at Fresh Energy, and has led the project from its inception as Midwest Energy News in 2009. Prior to joining Fresh Energy, he was the managing editor for online news at Minnesota Public Radio. He started his journalism career in 2002 as a copy editor for the Duluth News Tribune before spending five years at the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, where he held a variety of editing, production, and leadership roles, and played a key role in the newspaper's transition to digital-first publishing. A Nebraska native, Ken has a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master's degree from the University of Oregon.