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Obama vows more aggressive action on climate change

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CHICAGO: Chicago’s municipal aggregation plan could be a boon for renewables; meanwhile, city aldermen object to a plan by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to take a portion of ratepayer savings to pay for efficiency upgrades and renewable energy. (Midwest Energy News, Chicago Tribune)

CLIMATE: President Obama vows more aggressive action on climate change, but says a carbon tax is likely a non-starter; California holds its first sale of carbon emission permits, the “trade” in its cap-and-trade program; and global CO2 emissions rose by 2.5 percent in 2011. (The Hill, Reuters)

COAL: Weeks before announcing the company was going into “survival mode” and laying off workers, Ohio-based Murray Coal donated $100,000 to a conservative political group; and low river levels could force an Illinois mining company to stop shipping coal, potentially idling hundreds of workers. (Politico, KFVS)

EFFICIENCY: A survey finds consumers are more likely to blame their inefficient home or utility for high bills than their individual usage, and Naperville, Illinois considers a new billing structure that lowers rates during off-peak hours. (Renew Grid, Chicago Tribune)

FRACKING: Chesapeake Energy predicts drilling “for decades to come” in the Utica shale, but is not optimistic about the play’s oil potential. (Akron Beacon Journal)

ELECTRIC CARS: ABB and General Motors announce a project to use expired electric car batteries, which are still capable of holding a charge, for grid storage. (New York Times)

ETHANOL: A week after idling Indiana’s oldest ethanol plant, the facility’s owner files for bankruptcy. (South Bend Tribune)

COMMENTARY: The real meaning of the Kewaunee nuclear plant’s demise, and why there isn’t going to be a carbon tax anytime soon. (Midwest Energy News, Grist)

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