PETCOKE: Amid pushback from industry, Illinois pollution officials reject emergency status for Gov. Pat Quinn’s proposed petcoke rules; the rules will proceed through the normal regulatory process. (Midwest Energy News, Associated Press)

OIL: The National Transportation Safety Board warns of the potential of a “major loss of life” if oil trains are not routed around populated areas, Union Pacific says it will treat crude oil like a toxic chemical, and Chicago’s mayor calls for a national fee to fund rail safety upgrades. (Minneapolis Star Tribune, Associated Press, Governing)

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KANSAS: The state’s renewable energy standard is under attack once again, this time led by the state’s Chamber of Commerce; meanwhile, a new poll shows broad public support for the law. (EnergyWire, Topeka Capital-Journal)

GRID: The heavily natural gas-dependent PJM Interconnection faces soaring electricity prices as persistent cold weather drives demand and prices higher. (Greenwire)

MEANWHILE: Propane prices also soar, prompting Iowa leaders to call for a federal investigation. (Des Moines Register)

WIND: The National Audubon Society says it is “between a rock and a hard place” over plans to extend “take” permits protecting wind farms from prosecution over bird deaths. (National Journal)

ELECTRIC CARS: A new study finds a large number of electric vehicles could provide a cost-effective tool to manage the grid. (New York Times)

COAL: The League of Conservation Voters asks an Illinois congressman to return a campaign donation after he signs on to a bill designed to weaken EPA regulations, and a hearing officer rules against an Illinois landowner fighting a plan to inject coal mine waste underground. (The Hill, Illinois Times)

BIOFUELS: The EPA says it will reconsider its cellulosic ethanol target, and Missouri lawmakers consider a bill to prevent E15 from being sold in the state. (Des Moines Register, Associated Press)

CLIMATE: Industries are starting to see the impact of climate change on their bottom line, and a climate science wins a key ruling in his defamation case against a conservative publication. (New York Times, Mother Jones)

TRANSPORTATION: Iowa is running out of money for roads. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

COMMENTARY: David Suzuki says rail vs. pipeline is the wrong question. (DeSmogBlog)

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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