CLIMATE: Scientists say global emissions hit a record high in 2011, and the international goal of limiting global warming to 3.6°F may be unattainable. (New York Times)

MEANWHILE: President Obama is working on a climate treaty that would require emissions cuts from the U.S. and China. (Bloomberg Businessweek)

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MICHIGAN: After the failure of Proposal 3, what’s next for renewable energy in Michigan? (Midwest Energy News)

COAL: The GAO says nearly a quarter of U.S. coal plants could shut down by 2035. (Houston Chronicle)

FRAC SAND: A Wisconsin farmer enjoys newfound prosperity — and scorn from neighbors — after cashing out to a sand-mining firm. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

FRACKING: Drilling in Ohio’s Utica Shale falls short of predictions, and the Ohio Farm Bureau opposes Gov. John Kasich’s plan to raise taxes on oil and gas producers. (Columbus Dispatch, Youngstown Vindicator)

WIND: A Minnesota company says its air tunnel technology can produce more power from wind while minimizing visual and wildlife impacts, and wind energy development accelerates in Indiana. (Minneapolis Star Tribune, Anderson Herald Bulletin)

SOLAR: Can “Tupperware parties” help spread interest in solar power? (New York Times)

BIOFUELS: A new cellulosic ethanol refinery in Iowa could become the largest in the U.S., the AAA calls on the EPA to halt E15 sales, and biodiesel production is close to reaching federal mandate levels. (Cedar Rapids Gazette, The Hill, Des Moines Register)

OIL: North Dakota researchers study whether CO2 could be used to recover an additional $150 billion in oil from the Bakken. (Forum Communications)

NATURAL GAS: Airport fleets, taxis and other vehicles around Lincoln, Nebraska are converting to natural gas thanks to new fueling stations. (Lincoln Journal Star)

EFFICIENCY: Researchers at Michigan State University explore new ways to convert waste heat directly into electricity. (Associated Press)

TRANSPORTATION: The Chevy Volt tops Consumer Reports’ owner satisfaction ranking for the second year in a row, with 92 percent of owners saying they’d buy the car again. (Automotive News)

COMMENTARY: Why coal is a lousy way to create jobs, efficiency needs to be part of the energy mix, and why most people have a hard time grasping the risk of climate change. (Sightline Daily, Holland Sentinel, Time)

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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