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)

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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