PETCOKE: Echoing a similar order from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn announces emergency rules that would require petroleum coke to be stored indoors statewide. (Chicago Tribune)

MEANWHILE: At a public hearing in Chicago, Southeast Side residents say the city’s proposed petcoke rules are so full of loopholes they are essentially meaningless. (Midwest Energy News)

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COAL: Environmental advocates and other critics say a chemical spill that shut down much of West Virginia’s water supply is indicative of a broader problem of lax oversight of the state’s coal industry. (New York Times)

OIL: Federal investigators say 400,000 barrels of crude oil was spilled as the result of the Dec. 30 derailment in North Dakota, and environmental groups “get creative” to fight oil-by-rail shipments. (Minneapolis Star Tribune, EnergyWire)

SOLAR: Ameren Missouri announces plans for a 5.7 MW solar farm near St. Louis. (St. Louis Post Dispatch)

WIND: How the production tax credit could be revived. (SNL)

CLIMATE: Department of Energy data show carbon emissions in the U.S. rose 2 percent in 2013. (InsideClimate News)

MICHIGAN: Why Gov. Rick Snyder is not making friends among the coal lobby. (EnergyWire)

UTILITIES: The parent company of Midwest Generation petitions a bankruptcy judge to end health benefits for about 500 retired workers. (Crain’s Chicago Business)

TRANSMISSION: A planned transmission line to move Kansas wind energy eastward is running into opposition from landowners. (Lawrence Journal-World)

EFFICIENCY: Google enters the energy-management business with its $3.2 billion purchase of Nest Labs, the proposed federal budget includes a provision blocking funding to enforce light bulb efficiency standards, and a project at the University of Illinois would be the largest net-zero building in the world. (Forbes, Huffington Post, EarthTechling)

COMMENTARY: The chemical threat from coal goes far beyond West Virginia’s water supply. (Institute for Southern Studies)

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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