Today’s Stories

In today’s EMN, a Reuters’ analysis piece takes on the debate surrounding a controversial “central bank” style policy solution to the carbon market permit glut and any future imbalances and Point Carbon previews analysis due for release Wednesday that’s expected to show firms with CO2 caps under the EU’s carbon market used a record number of U.N. offsets last year.

Quote of the Day

“If the political forces are so strong that there is no other option than to have some kind of political interference in the market, then as a minimum this should be via some kind of independent carbon central bank that has a very clearly defined and predictable mandate to manage excessive price swings.”

Russel Mills, Dow Chemical’s global director of energy and climate policy, in Reuters’ “Analysis – Permit glut points to new EU carbon policy tool”

Lead Stories 

Analysis – Permit glut points to new EU carbon policy tool
Any one-off European Union intervention to clear the massive glut of permits now clogging its emissions trading scheme is likely to lead to a ‘central bank’ or other policy tool to manage future imbalances in the world’s biggest carbon market.

Green targets being watered down for UN summit – observers
Some of the main proposals in a draft text for negotiation at a U.N. sustainable development conference next month are being watered down at informal talks in New York, observers said on Tuesday, heightening fears the summit will fail to deliver.

EU use of U.N. CO2 credits nearly doubled in 2011: analysts
Point Carbon
EU data to be released Wednesday will show firms with CO2 caps under the EU’s carbon market used a record number of U.N. offsets last year, as prices hit an all-time low due to a rapid rise in the number issued, analysts predicted this week.

Climate Change and the Body Politic
The New York Times Green blog
The latest installment in our Temperature Rising series just published is about an argument between mainstream climate researchers and contrarians over how clouds will change on a warming planet. As their many other objections to climate science have been undermined by the growing evidence, the contrarians have settled on clouds as a kind of last-resort reason that the scientific majority just has to be wrong.
**RKB — Blog references a NY Times story we ran in the May 1 edition here:

Refiners Catch a Whiff of Investor Interest

Wall Street Journal
Investors continue to hold their noses when it comes to refiners, but they should at least open their eyes. For assets that could barely be given away until recently, refineries are getting an unusual amount of interest. Carlyle Group is considering buying into Sunoco’s Philadelphia refinery, while Delta Air Lines has agreed to buy and reopen a Phillips 66 refinery in Pennsylvania.

Energy Edge Announces Sale of Carbon Credits

Press Release
Energy Edge Technologies Corporation announced today that it is about to reap huge dividends from its engagement of Green Giant Venture Fund (GGVF), a leading broker in the global carbon credits market.

Weir Sees International Fracking Market Doubling in Three Years
Weir Group, the world’s largest provider of hydraulic fracturing equipment in the oil industry, expects the international market for the pressure-pumping gear to roughly double over the next three years.

Solar policy can advance (or delay) grid parity by a decade
Bloomberg Energy Finance calls solar grid parity (when electricity from solar costs less than grid power) the “golden goal.” It’s an excellent illustration of how the right energy policy can help a nation go gold on solar or wallow in metallurgical obscurity. In the case of the U.S., it may mean delaying grid parity by eight years.

New Research Shows Wind Farms Cause Global Warming

Large wind farms might have a warming effect on the local climate, research in the United States showed on Sunday, casting a shadow over the long-term sustainability of wind power. Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels contribute to global warming, which could lead to the melting of glaciers, sea level rise, ocean acidification, crop failure and other devastating effects, scientists say.

No, wind farms are not causing global warming
Washington Post blog
Scientific studies are misrepresented all the time. But now and again the distortions get particularly bad. That was the case Monday, when Fox News ran the headline, “New Research Shows Wind Farms Cause Global Warming.” A number of other media outlets did the same thing. And it’s not true at all.

Wood Makes Comeback as a Fuel
The New York Times Green blog
A century ago, rural homes in the United States and Europe commonly relied on wood for heating. Now wood is making a comeback, thanks largely to pellet technology.

Cruise-ship industry fights cleaner-fuel rule

McClatchy Newspapers
The heavy fuel that oceangoing vessels burn adds so much to air pollution hundreds of miles inland that the United States joined with Canada during President George W. Bush’s administration to ask the International Maritime Organization to create an emissions-control area along the coasts. Large ships would be required to reduce pollution dramatically in a zone 200 miles out to sea along all the coasts of North America, mainly by using cleaner fuel.


Industry Fought EPA Texas Chief Who Quit in ‘Crucify’ Furor
Before the notice was issued, the top official in Texas for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency alerted health advocates that an emergency order was being issued against gas-driller Range Resources Corp. (RRC). 

Drilling into Ohio’s oil-and-gas future

The Hill’s E2 Wire
E2 will be in Columbus, Ohio, Wednesday for a half-day conference, hosted by The Hill, about the prospect of a shale oil and natural-gas boom in the Buckeye State. 

Obama campaign ad uses energy to draw contrast with Romney
The Hill’s E2 Wire
President Obama’s reelection campaign is launching a new ad in three swings states that aims to contrast Obama’s record on energy policy with Mitt Romney’s, claiming the GOP challenger has a history of sending jobs overseas.

Experts: EPA Shale Gas Emission Rules “Too Little, Too Late”
Press Release
Natural Gas Industry Would Remain Largest Methane Polluter in U.S., Greenhouse Gas Footprint of Shale Would Still Be Larger Than That of Coal.


Canada’s Northwest Territories open to LNG option

The government of Canada’s Northwest Territories, hit by persistent delays in development of a C$16.2 billion ($16.5 billion) natural gas pipeline, could support a liquefied natural gas alternative for vast reserves in the region’s Mackenzie Delta, one of its ministers said on Tuesday.

Energy is increasingly a national issue, poll reveals
Alberta Oil
After years of ambivalence, Canadians are finally taking a shine to the energy sector. Sure, they still fret that the industry is too dirty, its environmental footprint too large, and its practices too unsustainable. But they also recognize the tremendous impact it has on the Canadian economy and that the sector is making strides to improve its environmental and social performance.

Suncor profit tops forecasts, sees few cost worries

Suncor Energy, Canada’s top oil producer and refiner, said on Tuesday that cost inflation in the oil sands of northern Alberta, a nagging concern among investors, remains largely at bay as it readies for a massive expansion of its operations there.


Wind’s $168 Billion North Sea Boom Lures Oil Industry
Oil service companies led by Technip SA (TEC) and Subsea 7 SA (SUBC) for the first time are working with wind energy developers in the North Sea’s 14 billion-euro ($19 billion) a year market. 

Germany doubles solar capacity at start of 2012

Business Green
Germany installed nearly double the amount of solar power in the first two months of the year compared to the same period in 2011, but the industry is continuing to fight against government plans for deep cuts to feed-in tariff incentives.

Why Sir Richard Lambert is the right man for the Committee on Climate Change
Business Green
It is one of the most important roles in the country, charged with independently assessing the UK’s transition to a low carbon economy and the government’s efforts to aid that transition. It has the power to embarrass governments, inform public opinion, and shape the policy environment for green businesses – which is why more attention should be being paid to the race to replace Lord Turner as chair of the Committee on Climate Change.


Inquiry calls for freeze on coal seam gas production

The Age
THE NSW government should cease issuing production licences for coal seam gas production until a ”comprehensive framework” for regulating the industry is developed, a parliamentary inquiry is set to recommend.

Did it change your mind about climate?
The Age
“I hope it’s a circuit-breaker,” Simon Nasht told me, the morning after the night before.

A Grim Portrait of Palm Oil Emissions

The New York Times
Indonesia ranks right behind the United States and China in the lineup of the world’s top 10 greenhouse gas emitters. It’s not because of smokestacks or freeways, but massive deforestation starting in the 1990s — driven In large part by the expansion of plantations for palm oil, an edible vegetable oil used in cookies, crackers, soap and European diesel fuel. 

Latin America

Bolivia Seizes Spanish Power Firm
Wall Street Journal
Bolivian President Evo Morales seized the local assets of Spanish power grid operator Red Eléctrica Corp. REE.MC +1.08% and ordered the armed forces to take over its installations, the latest move against Spanish corporate interests in Latin America.

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