COAL: A Union of Concerned Scientists report highlighting coal plants that can’t compete economically includes a large number of Midwest facilities. (Midwest Energy News)

ALSO: Looming deadlines could determine the fate of the FutureGen project in Illinois; and the Sierra Club threatens to sue DTE Energy, alleging 1,330 Clean Air Act violations at three Michigan coal plants. (Springfield State Journal-Register, Detroit Free Press)

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THE CARBON TAX DANCE: Grover Norquist quickly distances himself from any perception that he might be open to a carbon tax; the White House says it’s open to the idea if Republicans lead the push, to which Rep. Fred Upton says, “I’m not a carbon tax guy”; and the Brookings Institution remains hopeful a carbon tax could see bipartisan support. (Climate Progress, The Hill, ClimateWire)

WIND: Republican governors pressure their Congressional counterparts to support an extension of the wind production tax credit, and a North Dakota Minnesota tribe installs two wind turbines with the help of a federal grant. (The Hill, Fargo Forum)

CLIMATE: The IEA’s World Energy Outlook also contains a dire warning about climate change; a Yale survey finds an overwhelming majority of Americans want the U.S. to do more to reduce emissions; and energy reporter Thomas Content takes a closer look at how climate change is impacting Wisconsin so far. (Climate Central, Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

OIL: North Dakota posts another record year for oil production, as the boom brings dramatic changes to the Fort Berthold reservation. (Associated Press, Bloomberg Businessweek)

FRACKING: Natural gas storage fields pose an obstacle to new drilling in Ohio, the state resumes injection-well permitting after earthquakes prompted a moratorium, and the Chicago Tribune  explores the Wisconsin frac-sand boom. (Cleveland Plain Dealer, Associated Press, Chicago Tribune)

BIOFUELS: Two plants say they are close to large-scale, commercial production of cellulosic biofuels. (New York Times)

TRANSPORTATION: The Tesla Model S is named Motor Trend‘s Car of the Year, the first fully-electric vehicle to win the coveted award. (AOL AutoBlog)

COMMENTARY: How much tax relief could a carbon tax provide? And don’t celebrate America’s energy independence just yet. (Washington Post, New York Times)


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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