COAL: As the SEC investigates Peabody Energy’s role in the Prairie State Energy Campus, towns contracted to buy power from the plant continue to lose millions of dollars and are seeking other legal remedies. (Midwest Energy News)

CLIMATE: Worldwide carbon dioxide emissions increased dramatically in 2012, making it unlikely that global warming can be limited to another 2 degrees; and the Washington Post outlines ways the EPA and Department of Energy can tackle climate change using executive authority alone. (Associated Press, Washington Post)

MINNESOTA: A coalition of environmental, business, labor, religious and other groups (including Fresh Energy, which publishes Midwest Energy News) announce legislation to raise Minnesota’s renewable energy standard to 40 percent by 2030. (St. Paul Pioneer Press)

SOLAR: A separate bill in Minnesota would require utilities to pay owners of solar installations a “value of solar” rate for electricity that accounts for benefits such as generating at times of peak demand. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

KEYSTONE XL: Two firms who helped prepare the State Department’s environmental impact statement have deep ties to the oil industry; and in a Chicago appearance, a top Canadian official says “opponents are spreading false information about the oil sands.” (InsideClimate News, The Hill)

EFFICIENCY: Philips offers a 60-watt equivalent LED bulb for less than $15, and expects the price to drop below $10 by the end of the year; and the new LEED certified headquarters for Iowa’s Utility Board will cut energy consumption by 75 percent. (Cleveland Plain Dealer, Des Moines Register)

NATURAL GAS: Secretary of Energy nominee Ernest Moniz says U.S. natural gas exports can help curb carbon emissions; and sales of natural gas vehicles continue to rise, but remain largely limited to fleet purchases. (EnergyWire, Associated Press)

MICHIGAN: At the third of the state’s series of energy policy forums, Hemlock Semiconductor’s CFO says the state’s regulations are more favorable to utilities than consumers. (

TRANSPORTATION: An Indiana truck stop offers natural gas fuel produced from cow manure, and Minnesota considers a gasoline tax increase to pay for road repairs. (, Associated Press)

NUCLEAR: Environmental groups petition the NRC to object to expansion of Michigan’s Fermi nuclear plant. (Toledo Blade)

COMMENTARY: What Illinois is doing right on climate change; and if electric cars are the answer, what’s the question? (Crain’s Chicago Business,

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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