CLIMATE: Global carbon emissions set a record in 2012, putting us on a “difficult and dangerous trajectory,” according to the IEA. (Washington Post)

SOLAR: Are solar customers freeloaders? Or providing an undervalued benefit to the grid? Minnesota’s new solar law may settle that question once and for all. (Midwest Energy News)

ALSO: Community solar financing generates a lot of interest at a Michigan energy fair, and new solar panels help take an Ohio art museum off the grid on sunny days. (CBS Detroit, Toledo Blade)

COAL: The sale of five Illinois coal plants will proceed even after regulators ruled a five-year waiver of emission limits can’t be part of the deal, and state officials say a Minnesota utility doesn’t need to conduct an environmental review before making pollution upgrades to one of its coal plants. (Springfield State Journal-Register, Duluth News Tribune)

FRACKING: An Ohio county sees limited benefits from the drilling boom, and a railroad is upgrading tracks in western Wisconsin to carry heavy frac sand loads. (Columbus Dispatch, Rochester Post-Bulletin)

WIND: The wind farm intended to be the primary beneficiary of a new set of tax breaks recently approved in Nebraska is still not a sure thing. (Omaha World-Herald)

TRANSMISSION: A federal court rejects a challenge to a cost-sharing plan for $5.2 billion in Midwest transmission upgrades. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

EFFICIENCY: Energy information will now be available on some residential real estate listings in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and a Minnesota manufacturer of variable-tint glass ships its first large order and is moving toward full production. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

OIL: Gasoline prices in the Midwest are expected to remain high for several weeks following refinery outages, and FERC rules that Enbridge can reject crude oil with high levels of sulfide gas from its pipelines. (Reuters)

COMMENTARY: In Wisconsin, “it appears policymakers want the state to remain dependent on fossil fuels“; and why mpg may not be the best way to measure a car’s efficiency. (Madison Capital Times, Washington Post)

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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