SOLAR: Chicago announces new solar policies that will cut waiting times for permits as well as installation costs, and the city’s Shedd Aquarium kicks off work on a new solar array that is expected to cut its energy bill in half. (Chicago Tribune, WLS-TV)

EFFICIENCY: Why it’s difficult to track how much we’re actually spending on energy efficiency. (Greentech Media)

***SPONSORED LINK: Register today for the Midwest’s largest energy efficiency event, the Midwest Energy Solutions Conference, taking place January 14-16 in Chicago. Use Code MWEN25off for $25 off just for Midwest Energy News readers.***

CLIMATE: U.S. carbon emissions fell 3.8 percent in 2012, Koch Industries and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce lobby to prevent the social cost of carbon from being used in federal rulemaking, and utility regulators are concerned emissions rules may be rolled out too quickly. (The Hill, Greenwire)

ALSO: The National Journal confronts the U.N. about their great climate change conspiracy.

COAL: MISO says an Upper Peninsula coal plant must remain open for reliability reasons, Wisconsin cooperative will close the remaining units at one of its coal plants, Minnesota’s largest coal unit begins operating again, and a Wisconsin power plant will burn refined coal designed to cut emissions. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, LaCrosse Tribune, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Milwaukee Business Journal)

WIND: Ohio is one of the fastest-growing states for wind energy, and ice is not a “show stopper” for Great Lakes wind turbines but will likely increase engineering costs. (Springfield News-Sun, MLive)

NUCLEAR: Michigan’s senators want the State Department to intervene in a Canadian plan to store nuclear waste near Lake Huron. (Associated Press)

OIL: No oil is found in water supplies following a 20,000 barrel pipeline spill in North Dakota, and Shell predicts petroleum-powered cars will be a thing of the past by 2070. (Associated Press, AutoBlog Green)

FRACKING: An Ohio company’s plan to recycle shale-drilling waste raises concerns about radioactivity. (Columbus Dispatch)

GEOTHERMAL: An energy firm buys the rights to technology developed at the University of Minnesota to use sequestered carbon dioxide to generate geothermal energy. (Minnesota Daily)

OHIO: State legislators call for limits on third-party electricity markups following an investigation by the Columbus Dispatch.

MEDIA: How nine major newspapers handle climate misinformation in their letters sections. (Mother Jones)

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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