Daily digest

MidAmerican to stop burning coal at five Iowa units

COAL: In a settlement with the Sierra Club, MidAmerican Energy will stop burning coal at five Iowa generating units; and environmentalists object to a Duke Energy plan to pass along coal plant retrofit costs to ratepayers. (Minneapolis Star Tribune, Midwest Energy News)

KEYSTONE XL: Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman signs off on a revised Keystone XL route, the State Department says a decision on the project is still several months away. (Omaha World-Herald, Reuters)

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EPA: The Supreme Court declines to hear a challenge to EPA sulfur dioxide rules. (Greenwire)

SØLAR: IKEA pledges to double its investment in renewable energy to $4 billion by 2020. (Bloomberg)

UTILITIES: Xcel’s CEO tells a gathering of business leaders in Minneapolis to expect rising energy bills as utilities upgrade infrastructure; and Boulder, Colorado is on track to approve its own clean-energy powered municipal utility this spring. (Reuters, Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal, InsideClimate News)

CLIMATE: U.S. mayors push President Obama for climate action, greenhouse gas emissions dipped slightly in Minnesota from 2005-2010, and what can Chicago’s birds tell us about climate change? (Minneapolis Star Tribune, Grist)

TECHNOLOGY: How the “infernal battery” is the limiting factor in clean energy development. (Associated Press)

OHIO: A FirstEnergy subsidiary is criticized for cutting power to homes on the coldest day of the year for scheduled maintenance. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

TRANSPORTATION: Prices for electric cars are expected to drop significantly next year. (CleanTechnica)

COMMENTARY: How climate change is impacting Minnesota; and now that the president has vowed action, what happens next? (Minneapolis Star Tribune, EnergyBiz)

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