MINNESOTA: The future of Excelsior Energy’s proposed coal-to-gas plant in northern Minnesota is even more in doubt as parcels of land the project was to be built on go up for auction in a sheriff’s sale today. (Duluth News Tribune)

SOLAR: Companies are developing new tools to forecast cloud cover, which will become more important to ensure reliability as more solar energy is added to the grid. (Midwest Energy News)

ALSO: An industry group names Napoleon, Ohio “America’s Number One Solar Small Town,” and Grand Rapids, Michigan, studies a solar project at a former landfill site. (Toledo Blade, MLive.com)

WIND: The U.S. increases import duties on wind turbine towers produced in China and Vietnam. (Bloomberg)

S.S. BADGER: A Coast Guard bill passes without a special provision for the S.S. Badger, leaving the question of whether it continues operating to the owners, or the EPA. (Detroit Free Press)

COAL: An International Energy Agency report predicts demand for coal will continue to fall in the United States, level off in most of Europe, but continue to increase worldwide. (Greenwire)

KEYSTONE XL: TransCanada’s CEO says Keystone XL will likely still be approved even if John Kerry, a strong proponent of cutting carbon emissions, is named Secretary of State. (Reuters)

NUCLEAR: The incoming chair of the Senate Energy Committee pledges more aggressive action on nuclear waste in coming years. (New York Times)

POLLUTION: One of the largest industrial polluters in Muscatine, Iowa, a town with a history of air quality problems, says it will meet new EPA particulate requirements ahead of schedule. (Muscatine Journal)

CLIMATE: Sen. Barbara Boxer plans a weekly “open forum” for lawmakers to craft and support legislation to fight climate change. (The Hill)

OHIO: American Municipal Power is granted an 18-month extension on proposed natural gas power plant site. (WOUB)

EFFICIENCY: An inventor launches a Kickstarter campaign to develop a device that will turn smart phones into thermal imaging scanners, enabling homeowners to better detect drafts.(Treehugger)

COMMENTARY: The National Coal Museum in Wales installs solar panels, a Wisconsin college student defends her parents’ backyard wind turbine, and the Chicago Tribune says delays in Illinois’ smart-grid buildout are “unacceptable.” (Grist, Racine Journal Times, Chicago Tribune)

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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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