CONGRESS: The “fiscal cliff” package approved by Congress Tuesday included a one-year extension of the wind production tax credit, as well as incentives for biodiesel. (GigaOM, Des Moines Register)

EPA: Administrator Lisa Jackson announced last week that she will resign later this month, the agency will likely still be a target for industry lawsuits regardless of who succeeds Jackson at the helm. (Washington Post, Reuters)

EFFICIENCY: As tougher new building codes take affect in some Midwest states, utilities are expressing an interest in helping cash-strapped inspection offices enforce them. (Midwest Energy News)

OIL: A federal report finds members of the public are more likely to identify oil and gas leaks than pipeline companies’ own detection systems. (New York Times)

MEANWHILE: Oil companies are increasingly using trains to haul crude from North Dakota to the coasts, a method that carries an increased risk of spills, evidenced by a derailment that leaked several thousand gallons of ethanol in Illinois over the weekend. (Associated Press, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

FRAC SAND: Local officials in Minnesota are criticized for cutting themselves deals in the frac sand industry that they are also charged with overseeing. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

WIND: A northeast Nebraska wind farm struggles to find a buyer for its electricity because the state lacks incentives found elsewhere. (Associated Press)

NATURAL GAS: Ohio’s 45 Utica Shale wells are already producing natural gas equivalent to 40 percent of what the state’s existing 64,000 vertical wells generate, according to an industry official. (Akron Beacon Journal)

POLLUTION: The EPA issued long-delayed emissions standards for industrial boilers just before Christmas. (New York Times)

BIOMASS: A rural Iowa couple add a corn-cob furnace to the growing arsenal of renewable energy technology on their farm. (Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier)

COMMENTARY: “A resounding ‘meh'” for Promised Land, the new Matt Damon film that actually doesn’t really say all that much about fracking. (Grist)

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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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