WIND: The ongoing war of words over the “fiscal cliff” that intensified this week left unanswered one of the most important questions for energy watchers: What will happen to a suite of expired or expiring tax credits? (E&E Daily)

MINNESOTA: Developers of a long-delayed coal-to-gas plant in northern Minnesota bought 240 acres of the project site yesterday, and say they plan to proceed with a natural gas plant if a buyer for the power can be found. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

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COAL: Ohio-based American Electric Power plans to shut down an 1,100 MW coal plant in Kentucky, an Illinois coal mine issues layoff notices to 65 workers, and Sen. Dick Durbin calls for Energy Department approval of the FutureGen project. (New York Times, Springfield State Journal-Register, Associated Press)

FRACKING: New industry reports claim shale gas drilling supports 39,000 jobs in Ohio and 20,000 in Wisconsin. (Cleveland Plain Dealer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

CLIMATE: In an interview with Time magazine, President Obama says climate change will be among the top three priorities for his second term. (The Hill)

TECHNOLOGY: An Illinois battery firm that took over bankrupt A123’s government contracts is renewing its ties with the Argonne National Laboratory. (Crain’s Chicago Business)

TRANSPORTATION: A federal decision on routing trains through Springfield, Illinois clears the way for the full build-out of the Chicago-St. Louis high speed rail corridor. (Springfield State Journal-Register)

SOLAR: A new report highlights the red tape that solar installers say is holding back development. (GigaOm)

COMMENTARY: The Cleveland Plain Dealer says tougher water withdrawal rules are needed to protect the Great Lakes from high demand from the fracking industry.

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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