China steals the limelight in today’s edition, with a new environment law submitted to parliament and Tesla forecasting it will produce there within 4 Years. We also follow the latest developments in Europe, with a call for an energy union to counter Russia made by Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk, as well as measures to cut energy ties with Russia that should be discussed by G7 countries at an early May meeting in Rome.
Quote of the day
“We’re going to make a big investment in China in terms of charging infrastructure.”
Tesla Motors Inc.Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk, in the Bloomberg news’ story Musk Says Tesla Will Have Chinese Production Within 4 Years.
China’s new environment law submitted to parliament
Amendments to China’s 1989 environmental protection law that will mean stiffer punishments for polluters have been submitted to the country’s parliament for deliberation, official news agency Xinhua reported late on Monday.
***LB: Also in this story “The first change to the legislation in 25 years will give legal backing to Beijing’s newly declared war on pollution and formalise a pledge made last year to abandon a decades-old growth-at-all-costs economic model that has spoiled much of China’s water, skies and soil.”
Musk Says Tesla Will Have Chinese Production Within 4 Years
Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA:US) Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk, who’s preparing to begin deliveries of the Model S electric vehicle in China, forecast the company will be making cars in the country in the next three to four years.
Polish PM calls for EU energy union to end dependence on Russian gas
Jan Strupczewski, Reuters
The European Union must create an energy union to secure its gas supply because the current dependence on Russian energy makes Europe weak, Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk wrote in an article in the Financial Times.
G7 countries aim to cut energy ties to Russia
The G7 will consider ways to reduce reliance on Russian oil and gas to prevent the country wielding its vast energy supplies for political ends. UK Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey told The Times that a package of measures to boost energy security will be considered at a meeting in Rome on May 5 and 6.
Gazprom says will meet rising gas demand in Europe
Russia’s top natural gas producer Gazprom said it would be able to meet Europe’s rising demand for gas thanks to new projects, even while the European Union is aiming to reduce its energy dependence on Moscow.
Medvedev says Russia seeking to diversify gas exports
Russia is more interested than ever in diversifying destinations for its natural gas exports and is carrying out projects in Asia, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told Russian lawmakers on Tuesday.
COLUMN-Climate is right for clean energy firms
If you’re ecology minded, the news hasn’t been all that green of late, with ice caps and glaciers melting and storms becoming more destructive. But there is a huge silver lining for long-term investors in environmentally-friendly companies and technologies.
White House: No politics in Keystone delay
Justin Sink, The Hill
The White House maintained on Monday that the decision to delay the review of the Keystone XL oil pipeline was not based on politics.
Harper’s vision of Canada as energy superpower thwarted by opposition to pipelines
Les Whittington, the Star.com
The Harper government, which never foresaw that pipelines would become the battleground in a frenzied struggle over climate change, is contending with a continent-wide wave of political opposition that has imperiled plans to sell more Canadian petroleum in foreign markets.
Keystone Pipeline May Be Big, but This Is Bigger
Coral Davenport, The New York Times
The Keystone XL pipeline is a great political symbol. The proposed 1,700-mile pipeline, which would carry 830,000 barrels daily of carbon-heavy crude from Canada’s Alberta oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries, has galvanized environmental activists, who call it a litmus test for President Obama’s commitment to fighting climate change.
***LB: Also in this story “the carbon emissions produced by oil that would be moved in the Keystone pipeline would amount to less than 1 percent of United States greenhouse gas emissions, and an infinitesimal slice of the global total”
Old World, New Tech
Mark Scott, The New York Times
The streets here offer a glimpse of what the future may have to offer.
***LB: Also in this story “Barcelona is among a number of European cities adopting new forms of technology aimed at improving services.”
Divestment campaigns struggle against stock market, profits
Environmental advocates across the country are urging foundations and universities to sell their investments in oil and gas companies, arguing they have a responsibility to withhold support from companies whose activities contribute to climate change.
***LB: Also in this story “Earlier this year, a group of 17 foundations with nearly $1.8 billion in assets announced plans to rid their portfolios of investments in fossil fuels companies.”
GOP demands answers on electric grid security leak
Cristina Marcos, The Hill
Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee are asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to report on how sensitive information about electric grid security became public.
‘Saudi America’: Mirage?
Clifford Krauss, The New York Times
At a time when Russia is saber-rattling and the Middle East is in turmoil, a welcome geopolitical trifecta could be in the making.
***LB: Also in this story “There is also the possibility that the pace of shale drilling in places like Argentina, China and Russia, which have so far lagged North America, could take off, producing sizable new sources of oil and gas on the world market.”
2014 MIDWEST SOLAR EXPO
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May 16, 2014
Case in point: Mimicking nature to cut carbon dioxide emissions
Erika Herz and Andrea Larson,The Washington Post
The big idea: Entrepreneur Brent Constantz, a coral reef scientist, was well aware of the destructive effects of carbon dioxide (CO2).
We Could See You in the Gas Tank Later, Alligator
Henry Fountain, The New York Times
Production of biodiesel as an alternative to fossil fuels is on the rise in the United States, and one reason, proponents say, is that it can be made from a long list of raw materials.
***LB: Also in this story “The team recognized that the amount of alligator fat available for conversion to biodiesel was dwarfed by other sources, like beef and chicken fat, and is now working on developing more efficient production techniques that would be applicable to any animal-based biodiesel.”
Alaska Lawmakers Back Natural Gas Plans
Alaska’s legislature onMonday approved Gov. Sean Parnell’s plan to join four energy companies in moving ahead on plans to build infrastructures to transport and market 35 trillion cubic feet of North Slope gas to be shipped by an 800-mile pipeline to a liquefied gas export plant.
Ice or Molten Salt, Not Batteries, to Store Energy
Matthew L. Wald, The New York Times
Energy storage is crucial to transforming the electric grid into a clean, sustainable, low-emissions system, the experts say. And it’s happening already, just not the way most consumers would expect.
Good Energy dishes out wind farm ‘windfall’ payments
Jessica Shankleman, BusinessGreen
Good Energy announced last week that it has knocked £50 off the energy bills of customers living near its Delabole wind farm in Cornwall, following higher than normal winds in recent months.
How Green Was Thy Norman Conquest?
Mark Scott, The New York Times
When William the Conqueror invaded England in 1066, he could not have imagined what would happen to the land he seized from the Anglo Saxons.
***LB: Also in this story “the Crown Estate — which owns property across Britain and is now independent of the British monarchy — is at the heart of the country’s push into green energy.”
A Better Battery
James Fallows, The Atlantic
Why do batteries matter? Look at all your electronic devices: from laptops to smartphones to Kindles or iPads, even your watch.
India Said to Forecast Normal Monsoon Rain as El Nino Looms
Prabhudatta Mishra and Pratik Parija, Bloomberg Businessweek
The monsoon in India, which provides more than 70 percent of annual rainfall, will be normal this year amid forecasts for the emergence of an El Nino that previously caused droughts, government officials said.