OHIO: American Electric Power tells regulators that its plan to require the public to support an aging power plant is “an important crossroads for Ohio utility policy.” (Columbus Dispatch)

ALSO: Ohio utility customers will begin seeing a line item on their bills for compliance with state renewable and efficiency standards. (Columbus Business First)

***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.***

PETCOKE: Chicago’s health department blasts a petcoke storage company for issuing plans for a storage facility “via press release” and seeking more time to complete it. (Midwest Energy News)

RENEWABLES: A new report says Minnesota could get 50 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2030. (Midwest Energy News)

EPA: A Midwest consortium seeks flexibility for states in implementing the Clean Power Plan, and Ohio challenges the computer model that the agency uses to project reliability. (Midwest Energy News, EnergyWire)

WIND: Congress extends the production tax credit, but only through 2014; and North Dakota regulators approve a 22,000 acre wind farm. (Houston Chronicle, Forum News Service)

FRACKING: Citing health concerns and doubts about economic impact, New York moves to ban fracking. (Associated Press)

UTILITIES: FirstEnergy’s CEO announces he will step down Jan. 1. (Pittsburgh Business Times)

EFFICIENCY: 2014 saw nearly $1 billion in PACE-financed projects, a dramatic increase over the previous year. (Greentech Media)

COAL: More than 200 people attend a hearing on a proposed Illinois coal mine. (Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette)

***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! ***

FERC: The U.S. Senate confirms Colette Honorable as the new FERC chair. (Power Magazine)

COMMENTARY: Why wind and solar might need less backup than conventional power plants. (NRDC Switchboard)

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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