NOTE TO READERS: Midwest Energy News is taking a break over the next two weeks for the holidays. Site updates and the email digest will return on Monday, January 6.

PETCOKE: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announces new regulations requiring petroleum coke storage facilities to be fully enclosed, but stopped short of banning the material outright. (Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times)

MEANWHILE: BP’s Whiting refinery just outside Chicago completes a $4.2 billion upgrade to process more than 100,000 barrels per day of oil sands crude, which will substantially increase its petcoke output. (Times of Northwest Indiana)

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MICHIGAN: In response to months of public input, Gov. Rick Snyder says Michigan needs “affordable, reliable energy with no regrets” but offers little in the way of specific policy recommendations. (Detroit Free Press)

MINNESOTA: Minnesota regulators will re-evaluate the social cost of pollution from power plants. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

HYDRO: A century-old dam in Indiana will soon be producing electricity again, part of a broader movement to revive hydropower facilities throughout the U.S.. (Midwest Energy News)

COAL: A Wisconsin utility cancels plans for pollution upgrades at a power plant in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

CARBON CAPTURE: The EPA unveils carbon capture regulations; and a pilot project at an Illinois ethanol plant has successfully sequestered 685,000 metric tons of CO2, and operators of the plant are seeking permission to store 5 million more. (The Hill, Springfield State Journal-Register)

WIND: Developers rush to begin work on projects before the production tax credit expires. (Greenwire)

OHIO: FirstEnergy will ask the Supreme Court to review a decision requiring it to refund $43 million to ratepayers for overpayment for renewable energy credits. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

OIL: North Dakota regulators halt dumping at an oil drilling waste pit amid concerns a town’s water supply might be threatened, and officials in dozens of towns and cities raise concerns about the safety of crude oil shipped by rail. (Associated Press)

EFFICIENCY: Habitat for Humanity builds a net-zero house in Minneapolis. (WCCO)

FRAC SAND: While local government officials like Minnesota’s new frac sand guidelines, an industry representative says they seem “focused on stopping projects.” (Associated Press)

TRANSMISSION: Utilities and other companies spent a record $34.9 billion on transmission upgrades in 2012, and a look back at a former Wisconsin regulator’s ambitious tenure at the Department of Energy. (Electric Light & Power, Greenwire)

ELECTRIC CARS: An Indiana University study finds most consumers are unaware of the financial benefits of electric vehicles. (Transmission & Distribution World)

COMMENTARY: Why Wisconsin’s SC Johnson company is going big on wind despite a lack of political support in its home state. (Triple Pundit)

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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