COAL: A nationwide sweep of coal mines targeting causes of black lung disease finds 120 violations in seven states, including Ohio and Illinois. (NPR)

25 BY ’25: A new poll shows Michigan’s Proposal 3 trailing by 20 percentage points, a sharp turnaround from September. (Detroit Free Press)

ALSO: How Proposal 3 could lead to more community-owned energy projects. (Michigan Land Use Institute)

TECHNOLOGY: A researcher at Penn State says microbes in sewage have energy potential – as much as 17 GW nationwide. (Midwest Energy News)

EFFICIENCY: A new report says 10,000 jobs in Ohio are tied to increasing energy efficiency, with a $2.1 billion annual impact. (Columbus Dispatch)

OIL: Canadian regulators announce a safety audit of TransCanada, Illinois officials sue ExxonMobil over an oil release from a refinery earlier this month, and the oil boom helps shape North Dakota’s gubernatorial race. (Reuters, Morris Daily Herald, Fargo Forum)

TRANSMISSION: Smart meters are helping speed grid recovery in areas hit by Hurricane Sandy, and the closure of a Wisconsin nuclear plant prompts ATC to rethink a $200 million power line upgrade. (Greenwire, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

POLITICS: An overview of President Obama’s and Mitt Romney’s records on energy and climate. (USA Today)

HYDROPOWER: A $25 million hydropower upgrade in Lawrence, Kansas, could go online as early as tomorrow, with construction ironically sped along by low river levels that will leave the dam generating at a fraction of its capacity. (Lawrence Journal-World)

FRAC SAND: A public hearing on a proposed frac sand facility in a Minnesota town is rescheduled because of “unmanageable” crowds. (Wabasha Daily News)

COMMENTARY: Is Sandy a “climate Pearl Harbor” for the U.S.? Marc Gunther and Nicholas Kristof say it is. (, New York Times)

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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