COAL: Two more Minnesota coal plants could face retirement, depending on the outcome of a Public Utilities Commission hearing today. (Midwest Energy News)

ALSO: Ohio pledges $30 million to study “clean coal” technology, and a consultant advises the utility in Holland, Michigan, to convert its coal plant to natural gas. (Akron Beacon Journal, Grand Rapids Press)

WIND: In an appearance in Des Moines, Mitt Romney avoids discussion of his opposition to extending the wind production tax credit; meanwhile, at a town hall event in Burlington, Iowa, Sen. Charles Grassley, the Republican who authored the tax credit, called Romney’s position “a knife in my back.” (The Hill, Burlington Hawk Eye) 

MEANWHILE: A Wisconsin wind tower manufacturer says it will turn its focus to Canada to stay afloat if the tax credit is not extended. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

CLIMATE: Sen. Harry Reid says he’s hopeful the Senate will take up a climate pricing bill next year; and, under pressure from the EU, the U.S. reaffirms its support for a goal of limiting global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius. (Greenwire, Reuters)

NATURAL GAS: A federal court rules the EPA hasn’t shown multiple gas facilities in Michigan can be regulated as a single source of emissions under the Clean Air Act, drilling companies report mostly encouraging results in Ohio’s Utica Shale, and a pipeline rupture and fire causes a brief scare but no injuries at an Iowa natural gas storage facility. (Greenwire, Akron Beacon Journal, Des Moines Register)

TRANSMISSION: Critics question the need for transmission upgrades in Wisconsin amid an electricity surplus. (Madison CapitalTimes)

SOLAR: Despite the high-profile failure of Solyndra, the solar industry in the U.S. is growing — and becoming more competitive. (New York Times)

GREEN ECONOMY: A Michigan bleacher company explains why it’s the largest purchaser of clean energy in the state: “I wish we could say we got a lot of orders because of this but we do it because we want clean water and clean air.” (

NUCLEAR: A public hearing tonight in Oak Harbor, Ohio, will address the cause of cracks found in the Davis-Besse nuclear plant. (Toledo Blade)

COMMENTARY: Retired Marine Lt. Gen. Richard Zilmer, who will be speaking in Grand Rapids tonight, says tougher fuel economy standards are “a matter of national and economic security and military readiness.” (Detroit Free Press)


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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