COAL ASH: EPA takes historic step to regulate coal ash, but, against environment groups’ wishes, doesn’t call it “hazardous” waste. Ohio-based utility FirstEnergy calls the rules “appropriate.” (New York Times, The Hill, Cleveland Plain Dealer)

SOLAR: Xcel Energy sees bigger response to community solar in Minnesota than anticipated: 427 applications so far. (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.***

PIPELINE: Nebraska Supreme Court delays pivotal decision on Keystone XL until 2015, while Obama pushes back against claims that the project would lower gas prices. (The Hill)

FRACKING: After 9 days, Ohio families evacuated due to a gas leak at a fracking well are still seeking answers. Meanwhile, in a speech, Gov. John Kasich says more fracking regulations are coming, hints at industry tax increase. (Columbus Dispatch)

ALSO: New York farmers are upset over missing out on gas royalties after statewide fracking ban. (Associated Press)

MINING: Federal mining regulators seeing a “cultural change” in industry as mining-related deaths near record low. Also, Obama appointee overseeing surface mining proving environmental groups wrong with aggressive rulemaking. (Associated Press, Greenwire)

RELIABILITY: PJM Interconnection delays plant retirements in preparation for winter weather and uncertainty in demand response. (Columbus Business First)

CARBON: In Wisconsin, state regulators and clean energy advocates take different approach to proposed federal carbon regulations. (La Crosse Tribune)

SPORTS: The National Hockey League becomes first major sports league to commit to major greenhouse gas reductions, while the Minnesota Vikings install $1.2 million worth of LED lighting at new stadium. (ClimateWire, Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal)

CLIMATE CHANGE: Michigan National Guard base installs renewable energy, pilots climate-change resiliency measures. (Midwest Energy News)

ALSO: New federal guidance on how climate change should factor into environmental reviews could affect FERC permitting process. (Greenwire)

UTILITIES: Utilities in Michigan and South Dakota seek rate increases to pay off investments and pollution controls. (CBS Detroit, Associated Press)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join clean energy entrepreneur Jigar Shah, ELPC’s Brad Klein, and Wisconsin businesses, policymakers, advocates, and utilities at the RENEW Wisconsin Energy Summit on Friday, January 9 in Madison.***

ETHANOL: Industry group calls University of Minnesota biofuels study “misleading, inaccurate.”. (Biofuels Digest)

COMMENTARY: In next legislative session, Michigan lawmakers should avoid shielding wind projects from lawsuits. (Detroit News)

Andy Balaskovitz

Andy Balaskovitz

Andy has been a journalism fellow for Midwest Energy News since 2014, following four years at City Pulse, Lansing’s alt-weekly newspaper. He covers the state of Michigan and also compiles the Midwest Energy News daily email digest. Andy is a graduate of Michigan State University’s Journalism School, where he focused on topics covered by the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism and wrote for the Great Lakes Echo. He was the 2008 and 2009 recipient of the Edward Meeman Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Environmental Journalism at Michigan State.

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