PIPELINES: Federal regulators say Exxon downplayed risks and put off critical repairs prior to an oil pipeline rupturing in an Arkansas neighborhood earlier this year; and a new report says export pipelines will be crucial for future oil sands growth. (InsideClimate News)

NUCLEAR: In Illinois, the nuclear industry says waste materials are perfectly safe at reactor sites until long-term storage is built; and Xcel Energy Minnesota regulators hire an expert to investigate cost overruns at a Minnesota an Xcel nuclear plant. (Midwest Energy News, Minneapolis Star Tribune)

***SPONSORED LINK: Register today for the Midwest’s largest energy efficiency event, the Midwest Energy Solutions Conference, taking place January 14-16 in Chicago. Use Code MWEN25off for $25 off just for Midwest Energy News readers.***

OIL: Following another derailment and explosion, railroads seek tougher standards for tanker cars carrying crude and other flammable materials; North Dakota studies whether to allow more radioactive waste from oil fields in landfills; and Oklahomans learn to live with a string of mild earthquakes suspected to be linked to wastewater disposal wells. (Bismarck Tribune, Reuters, NPR)

FRACKING: With state fracking regulations near completion, Illinois officials say it will be at least another year before they issue permits for drilling. (Springfield State Journal-Register)

COAL: An Iowa coal plant shuts down and will be demolished, and the TVA announces it will close eight coal plants in the southeast. (Muscatine Journal, New York Times)

NATURAL GAS: Wisconsin regulators hear differing opinions on who should pay to convert a Milwaukee coal plant to natural gas. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

CHICAGO: Chicago signs an agreement with Constellation to provide coal-free electricity for two years. (Electric Light & Power)

OHIO: Breaking ranks with an industry group, large companies including Dow Chemical, Honda and Whirlpool sign a letter opposing a bill that would weaken Ohio’s efficiency mandate. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

EPA: At a hearing with EPA officials, congressional Republicans say carbon capture technology isn’t currently feasible. (The Hill)

TRANSMISSION: Xcel will pay western Wisconsin counties and cities more than $9 million to cover environmental impact fees. (LaCrosse Tribune)

WAL-MART: A new report says despite the company’s push for solar power and energy efficiency, Wal-Mart is one of the largest and fastest-growing polluters in the U.S. (Al Jazeera America)

***SPONSORED LINK: Total Energy USA provides several opportunities to network with other energy industry leaders, including Houston Business Journal Who’s Who in Energy reception. ***

COMMENTARY: Why much of the Associated Press ethanol investigation is “old material given a fresh coat of blame.” (MinnPost)

CORRECTION: The final Ohio Senate panel hearing on SB 58 was held Wednesday, not Thursday as stated incorrectly in yesterday’s email digest.

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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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