COAL: Four Illinois coal plants owned by Midwest Generation will be purchased by a New Jersey company if a bankruptcy deal is approved. (Chicago Tribune)

EFFICIENCY: A privately-run PACE financing program in Michigan has expanded in size to serve nearly 1.5 million residents, and is poised to add the state’s most populous county. (Midwest Energy News)

***SPONSORED LINK: Don’t forget today’s FREE Great Plains Clean Energy Transmission Summit in Saint Paul. Join public and private sector leaders — along with moderators from Midwest Energy News — in a debate over the future of clean energy and the electric grid.***

SOLAR: A massive solar farm at the Indianapolis Airport has started generating power. (Indianapolis Star)

NUCLEAR: Xcel Energy defends upgrades to a Minnesota nuclear plant after costs more than double. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

OIL: A train carrying crude oil and propane derails and catches fire in western Canada, and Exxon still has no timeline for restarting a pipeline that ruptured in Arkansas earlier this year. (Associated Press, InsideClimate News)

FRACKING: Anti-fracking groups call on Ohio Gov. John Kasich to ban wastewater injection wells in the state. (Columbus Business First)

FRAC SAND: A bill in the Wisconsin legislature would prevent local governments from imposing tighter restrictions on frac sand mining. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

TRANSMISSION: Farmers in Iowa are divided over transmission lines to help expand wind energy. (Radio Iowa)

OHIO: An investigation finds that third-party “submeter” companies allowed by Ohio law are charging apartment and condo dwellers 5 to 40 times more for power than they would normally pay. (Columbus Dispatch)

WIND: Wind farms become a tourist attraction in Michigan. (Livingston Daily)

HYDROPOWER: Minnesota researchers help test hydro turbines that are designed to generate power from river currents. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

CLIMATE: Iowa scientists warn climate change will bring longer dry spells and more intense rainfall to the state. (Des Moines Register)

***SPONSORED LINK: Register today for the Midwest’s largest energy efficiency event, the Midwest Energy Solutions Conference, taking place January 14-16 in Chicago. Use Code MWEN25off for $25 off just for Midwest Energy News readers.***

BIOFUELS: The oil and gas industry threatens to sue the EPA if it delays announcing biofuel mandate levels for 2014. (Des Moines Register)

COMMENTARY: The Cleveland Plain Dealer says a bill to weaken Ohio’s energy laws deserves “a proper burial.”

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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