FRACKING: A closer look at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s recent study crediting 1.7 million jobs to the fracking boom. (Midwest Energy News)

OIL: In 2011, the U.S. say its largest annual increase in oil production since the dawn of the industry in 1859; and Phillips 66 launches a $1 billion effort to ship crude from North Dakota to an East Coast refinery by rail. (EnergyWire, Houston Chronicle)

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ILLINOIS: Carbondale, in the heart of southern Illinois coal country, approves a plan to buy 100 percent renewable power as part of its municipal aggregation deal. (Carbondale Southern Illinoisan)

SOLAR: A decision by Ohio regulators could spell doom for what would have been the largest solar array east of the Rockies; a University of Michigan solar project riles neighbors; and a new report projects a major shakeout in the solar industry this year, with 70 percent of manufacturers going out of business. (Columbus Dispatch,

ALSO: Solar Mosaic, a Kickstarter-like online funding tool for solar power, has generated $1.1 million for 12 solar projects and anticipates a 4.5 percent return for investors. (Bloomberg)

CLIMATE: Chicago is about to break a 73-year-old snowless record, Sen. Bernie Sanders proposes a bill to impose fees on greenhouse gas emitters, and outgoing EPA chief Lisa Jackson says the agency’s climate change endangerment finding is her proudest achievement. (NBC, The Hill, USA Today)

TRANSMISSION: Nebraska’s public utility plans a new transmission line across the state to improve reliability and open up capacity for wind farms, and a proposal by MISO would give state regulators broader authority to allocate transmission line costs. (Lincoln Journal Star, Platts)

TECHNOLOGY: Iowa State University gets a $120 million federal grant to research rare earth materials, and Michigan researchers develop a material to convert waste heat from car exhaust into electricity. (Des Moines Register, Capital News Service)

COMMENTARY: Fact-checking a lobbyist’s claim that the oil industry “gets no subsidies,” and why utilities aren’t celebrating the wind tax credit extension. (Climate Progress, Forbes)

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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