OHIO: An Ohio utility hires a consultant to explore selling unregulated power plants that it is seeking profit guarantees for. (Columbus Dispatch)

COAL: Federal regulators order BNSF to provide a plan for making emergency coal shipments to power plants this winter. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

***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.***

ELECTRIC CARS: A Republican Minnesota lawmaker and recent Tesla buyer says electric cars are “where the future is.” (Midwest Energy News)

ALSO: Backers are optimistic that low gasoline prices won’t dampen interest in electric cars. (Seattle Times)

SOLAR: U.S. tariffs on Chinese solar panels may be reduced following a Department of Commerce review. (Bloomberg)

KEYSTONE XL: President Obama pledges to veto a bill authorizing construction of Keystone XL, as South Dakota regulators reject a challenge to the pipeline. (New York Times, Associated Press)

OIL: More than 300 people attend a hearing on a proposed Minnesota pipeline, and low oil prices prompt an Ohio pipe plant to shut down. (Minnesota Public Radio, Bloomberg)

GRID: An Ohio utility is still awaiting approval of a plan to install 900,000 smart meters. (Columbus Business First)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join NAACP’s Jacqueline Patterson, ELPC’s Brad Klein, and Wisconsin businesses, policymakers, advocates, and utilities at the RENEW Wisconsin Energy Summit on Friday, January 9 in Madison.***

WISCONSIN: Gundersen Health System’s energy independence efforts will be recognized at an annual energy summit this week. (La Crosse Tribune)

COMMENTARY: Why we should tax carbon instead of subsidizing nuclear. (Crain’s Chicago Business)

Ken Paulman

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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