CHICAGO: Mayor Rahm Emanuel drops a plan for an electricity surcharge, as part of the city’s bulk-purchasing program, to pay for energy efficiency upgrades. (Chicago Tribune)

CLIMATE: The Natural Resources Defense Council unveils a plan to use the Clean Air Act to dramatically reduce emissions from existing power plants, college students want their schools to drop fossil fuel investments from their endowments, and climate talks stall in Doha. (Washington Post, New York Times, Associated Press)

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OIL: U.S. oil production hits its highest point since 1998, and Nebraskans continue to debate the Keystone XL pipeline. (Fargo Forum, Omaha World-Herald)

SOLAR: Dow announces its solar shingles will now be available in Michigan, and a solar trade group drops its membership in ALEC. (, EarthTechling)

COAL: Despite the “war on coal” rhetoric of the presidential campaign, coal jobs have been increasing every year in Ohio. (Lancaster Eagle Gazette)

EFFICIENCY: The House approves, by a wide margin, a bill to ease efficiency rules on refrigerators and other appliances; and Dow Automotive says an energy-saving plan for its Midland, Michigan plant will cut CO2 emissions by 8,000 tons per year. (The Hill,

SMART GRID: The Illinois Senate fights with state regulators over utility funding for smart grid upgrades. (Greentech Media)

WIND: Minnesota regulators will decide tomorrow whether to approve two wind farms in the central part of the state. (St. Cloud Times)

NATURAL GAS: An Indiana beverage distributor will spend $16.5 million to convert its truck fleet to run on compressed natural gas. (Indianapolis Star)

COMMENTARY: David Roberts breaks down the NRDC’s emission-reduction plan, which he describes as a “genius” way for President Obama to tackle climate change without getting Congress involved. (Grist)

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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