MINNESOTA: Minnesota’s largest utility announces plans to more than double its share of renewable energy over the next 15 years. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

ALSO: A former state lawmaker’s latest endeavor will take Minnesota’s energy expertise to a global stage. (Midwest Energy News)

***SPONSORED LINK: The Midwest Energy Solutions Conference is the largest event of its kind in the region. This event attracts a diverse assemblage of thought leaders from around the nation who share a passion for energy efficiency.***

IOWA: A top state energy official is fired without explanation. (Associated Press)

• North Dakota oil towns prepare for “a fairly significant correction” as production slows down. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
• The oil and gas industry launches aggressive legal assaults against towns that vote to ban fracking. (New York Times)
• A fire at a North Dakota storage facility is expected to burn 1,600 barrels of oil. (Reuters)
• Crews in Ohio capped a leaking gas well that had forced the evacuation of 30 homes before Christmas. (Columbus Dispatch)
• Local governments join Ohio landowners in their push to reroute a proposed natural gas pipeline. (Canton Repository)
Hearings this week will gather input on a proposed Minnesota pipeline. (Minnesota Public Radio)
• Minnesota officials say it will cost $280 million to upgrade crossings along oil train routes. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

OHIO: The state Energy Mandates Study Committee has so far done little in its first two meetings. (Columbus Dispatch)

ILLINOIS: What’s in store for the state’s energy sector in 2015. (Chicago Tribune)

NUCLEAR: A nuclear plant has been leaking oil into Lake Michigan since October, and the EPA tries to determine nuclear’s role in the Clean Power Plan. (MLive, New York Times)

COAL: Missouri regulators approve a new coal ash landfill, and a Colorado company is buying two Ohio coal firms. (St. Louis Post Dispatch, Columbus Dispatch)

WIND: A new wind farm pushes an Indiana utility’s coal share below 50 percent, Ohio’s wind future is in doubt, and a North Dakota co-op signs deals to buy power from two new wind farms in the state. (Muncie Star Press, Columbus Dispatch, Associated Press)

SOLAR: A Missouri town wants to build a solar farm at a former oil refinery site. (Independence Examiner)

TRANSPORTATION: Despite falling gasoline prices, there is little support for increasing the federal gasoline tax; and bicycle commuting increases in cities across the U.S. (New York Times, ClimateWire)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join clean energy entrepreneur Jigar Shah, ELPC’s Brad Klein, and Wisconsin businesses, policymakers, advocates, and utilities at the RENEW Wisconsin Energy Summit on Friday, January 9 in Madison.***

GRID: An Ohio utility plans to upgrade 105,000 meters, mostly in rural areas. (Columbus Dispatch)

COMMENTARY: Special interests are driving Wisconsin energy policy backward. (Stevens Point Journal)

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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