COAL: The EPA is expected to release new rules for coal ash disposal as early as today. (Washington Post)

ALSO: Indiana’s consumer advocate says Duke Energy owes ratepayers more than $114 million for costs related to the Edwardsport coal gasification plant. (Bloomington Herald-Times)

***SPONSORED LINK: The Midwest Energy Solutions Conference is the largest event of its kind in the region. This event attracts a diverse assemblage of thought leaders from around the nation who share a passion for energy efficiency.***

OHIO: Despite political setbacks, a bipartisan coalition of industry, government and nonprofit groups still sees a bright future for clean energy in Ohio. (Midwest Energy News)

MINNESOTA: A coalition of energy, faith and labor groups will push to increase Minnesota’s renewable energy standard to 40 percent by 2030. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

UTILITIES: Wisconsin regulators reject a request to take more time on a proposed merger between Wisconsin Energy and Integrys Energy Group. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

OIL: More than 500 shale drilling rigs may shut down amid low oil prices, which could also soon kick in a $5.3 billion tax break for North Dakota producers; and a North Dakota group seeks an audit of state regulators’ dealings with oil companies. (Houston Chronicle, Reuters, Forum News Service)

PIPELINES: Nebraska’s Supreme Court could issue a pivotal decision on Keystone XL as early as today, Enbridge shuts down a pipeline after a leak in Saskatchewan. (The Hill, Bloomberg)

EPA: Environmental groups challenge the impartiality of a consultant hired by the North American Electric Reliability Corp. to evaluate the Clean Power Plan. (Greenwire)

WIND: The IEA criticizes the U.S. for inconsistency on wind tax credits, and a Minnesota utility further expands its wind portfolio. (Forbes, Minneapolis Star Tribune)

TRANSPORTATION: Power plants in Minnesota and South Dakota are seeing improvements in their coal supplies after rail disruptions this year. (Duluth News Tribune, Platts)

CLIMATE: Readers vote “global warming is a hoax” as PolitiFact’s Lie of the Year. (Tampa Bay Times)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join clean energy entrepreneur Jigar Shah, ELPC’s Brad Klein, and Wisconsin businesses, policymakers, advocates, and utilities at the RENEW Wisconsin Energy Summit on Friday, January 9 in Madison. Early bird registration ends Dec. 20! ***

TECHNOLOGY: A new drilling technique could cut costs for geothermal, and a California company markets a $20,000 home storage system for renewable energy. (GigaOm, Sacramento Business Journal)

COMMENTARY: Michigan can be a “comeback state” on clean energy, and why classifying waste-to-energy as “renewable” is “a curious way to go about it.” (Detroit News, Crain’s Detroit Business)

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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