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Wind tax credit extended in ‘fiscal cliff’ deal

CONGRESS: The “fiscal cliff” package approved by Congress Tuesday included a one-year extension of the wind production tax credit, as well as incentives for biodiesel. (GigaOM, Des Moines Register)

EPA: Administrator Lisa Jackson announced last week that she will resign later this month, the agency will likely still be a target for industry lawsuits regardless of who succeeds Jackson at the helm. (Washington Post, Reuters)

EFFICIENCY: As tougher new building codes take affect in some Midwest states, utilities are expressing an interest in helping cash-strapped inspection offices enforce them. (Midwest Energy News)

OIL: A federal report finds members of the public are more likely to identify oil and gas leaks than pipeline companies’ own detection systems. (New York Times)

MEANWHILE: Oil companies are increasingly using trains to haul crude from North Dakota to the coasts, a method that carries an increased risk of spills, evidenced by a derailment that leaked several thousand gallons of ethanol in Illinois over the weekend. (Associated Press, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

FRAC SAND: Local officials in Minnesota are criticized for cutting themselves deals in the frac sand industry that they are also charged with overseeing. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

WIND: A northeast Nebraska wind farm struggles to find a buyer for its electricity because the state lacks incentives found elsewhere. (Associated Press)

NATURAL GAS: Ohio’s 45 Utica Shale wells are already producing natural gas equivalent to 40 percent of what the state’s existing 64,000 vertical wells generate, according to an industry official. (Akron Beacon Journal)

POLLUTION: The EPA issued long-delayed emissions standards for industrial boilers just before Christmas. (New York Times)

BIOMASS: A rural Iowa couple add a corn-cob furnace to the growing arsenal of renewable energy technology on their farm. (Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier)

COMMENTARY: “A resounding ‘meh’” for Promised Land, the new Matt Damon film that actually doesn’t really say all that much about fracking. (Grist)

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