COAL: Midwest Generation’s four Illinois coal plants will continue operating as it files for bankruptcy, but observers say it’s only a matter of time before the company’s financial difficulties force the plants to shut down. (Midwest Energy News)

CLIMATE: Ann Arbor, Michigan, sets a goal of reducing its carbon emissions 90 percent by 2050. (

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FRACKING: Republican governors urge the Obama administration to abandon chemical disclosure rules for fracking, saying such regulation should be left to states. (The Hill)

KEYSTONE XL: While TransCanada has declared Keystone XL will be the “safest, most advanced pipeline ever built in North America,” it will actually have fewer safety features than other pipelines. (InsideClimate News)

FRAC SAND: A Minnesota town, facing legal pressure from developers, decides to forgo an environmental impact study on a proposed frac sand shipping facility. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

AGGREGATION: Voters in Bloomington, Illinois will get another chance to adopt municipal aggregation after rejecting a similar proposal in a primary election earlier this year. (Bloomington Pantagraph)

OIL SANDS: Canada decides to put the brakes on Chinese buyouts of oil sands firms. (EnergyWire)

EFFICIENCY: An Illinois town hopes a cooling system called the “Ice Bear,” which takes advantage of low off-peak energy prices to freeze water for cooling later in the day, will help cut energy costs at its public works building. (Chicago Tribune)

COMMENTARY: A roundtable on whether Congress should extend the wind tax credit, and why a report gushing with optimism over fracking jobs in Illinois should be met with skepticism. (National Journal, Midwest Energy News)

Ken is the director of the Energy News Network at Fresh Energy and is a founding editor of both Midwest Energy News and Southeast Energy News. 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 worked as a copy editor, online producer, features editor and night city editor. 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. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors.

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