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Ameren seeks to exit power generating business in Illinois

NOTE TO READERS: Midwest Energy News is taking a break for the holidays. Site updates and the email digest will resume on Wednesday, January 2. From all of us, thank you for another great year.

ILLINOIS: Ameren says it plans to exit the power generating business in Illinois, leaving the fate of its coal plants in doubt. (Chicago Tribune)

COAL: Backers of underground coal gasification say the technology may have a bright future in a carbon-constrained world, and a state agency backs Otter Tail Power’s plan to continue operating a Minnesota coal plant through 2020. (Midwest Energy News, Minneapolis Star Tribune)

EPA: An appeals court refuses to hear a challenge to EPA greenhouse gas rules, potentially sending the case to the Supreme Court. (Greenwire)

EFFICIENCY: A study finds a Wisconsin energy efficiency program delivered $2.46 in savings for every dollar invested in 2011, and a GM plant in Ohio reduces its energy intensity by 33 percent. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Youngstown Vindicator)

ALSO: It’s widely assumed that rental property owners have less incentive to invest in efficiency upgrades than homeowners, a new Berkeley study puts that hypothesis to the test. (New York Times)

POLITICS: Conservative groups push lawmakers from states with renewable standards to oppose wind tax credits, and a coalition of labor and environmental groups calls on President Obama to take action on climate change. (The Hill)

CLIMATE: A poll finds fewer Americans have confidence that their individual actions can help fight global warming. (New York Times)

BIOFUELS: How a Canadian company was able to game the U.S. biofuel credit market by running the same train full of biodiesel back and forth across the border. (CBC News)

COMMENTARY: Why the marketplace is the “first responder” on climate change. (EnergyBiz)

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