CLIMATE: President Obama’s climate speech yesterday begins a new chapter in the fight over emissions reduction; Republicans acknowledge there may be little they can do to block most of the president’s proposals, but the energy industry will likely challenge them in court. (Washington Post, Politico, The New Republic)

THE SPEECH: The 49-minute address was virtually ignored by cable news networks, with only the Weather Channel broadcasting it in its entirety. A full video and transcript of the speech are available online. (ThinkProgress, The Uptake, Climate Central)

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REACTION: Longtime environmental activists in Chicago met the president’s plan with guarded optimism, while the Heartland Institute calls carbon dioxide the “elixir of life”; some Minnesota utilities are already on track to exceed Obama’s emission reduction goals; and the plan will put increased pressure on utilities to shut down coal plants. (Midwest Energy News, Minnesota Public Radio, Duluth News Tribune)

ELSEWHERE: Other headlines from around the region
• Will Obama’s clean-air plan choke Ohio’s power plants? (Columbus Dispatch)
• Local professors commend Obama’s climate change proposal (Bloomington Pantagraph)
• Coal hits major setback (Carbondale Southern)
• War on coal? Local congressmen blast White House plans to cut carbon pollution (Belleville News Democrat)
• Obama’s emissions plan will impact coal-dependent Indiana (Indianapolis Star)
• Greenhouse gas policy is bound to hit close to home (Kansas City Star)
• Obama carbon plan draws little applause in St. Louis region (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
• Delegation, energy industry critical of president’s climate change proposal (Bismarck Tribune)
• Obama climate plan could remake energy landscape in Iowa (Des Moines Register)

KEYSTONE XL: Obama also placed conditions on Keystone XL approval, saying the pipeline cannot substantially increase greenhouse gases, a statement interpreted as good news by both opponents and proponents of the project. (The Hill)

MEANWHILE: A study by the National Academy of Sciences says dilbit from the Canadian oil sands is no more damaging to pipelines than conventional oil, critics say the study is too narrow in its scope and fails to consider whether spilled oil is more damaging to the environment. (Greenwire, InsideClimate News)

MICHIGAN: A protester who sat inside an oil pipeline for 10 hours is charged with a felony. (Battle Creek Enquirer)

OHIO: American Electric Power wants state regulators to force FirstEnergy to stop soliciting for customers in its territory. (Columbus Dispatch)

FRACKING: A state review board upholds a decision revoking the permit of a company that dumped drilling wastewater into an Ohio storm sewer. (Associated Press)

NUCLEAR: The Energy Department seeks to abandon a half-finished plant to process plutonium into reactor fuel after costs balloon to more than $7 billion. (New York Times)

TRANSPORTATION: In a Q&A, outgoing Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood tells the story of his worst day on the job; and Tesla makes inroads in Minnesota. (Chicago Tribune, St. Paul Pioneer Press)

EFFICIENCY: A new report names the top efficiency programs in the U.S. (Greentech Media)

COMMENTARY: Obama’s climate plan isn’t nearly enough, how to get people to care about climate change, and is a carbon tax more effective than EPA rules? (SmartPlanet, Popular Science, Washington Post)

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Ken Paulman

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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