Things are moving at a brisk pace in today’s edition, as EPA ponders limits on emissions from U.S. airlines and U.S. Democrats propose a carbon tax. Also, a useful roundup of what countries have offered for a Paris climate agreement. 

Quote of the day

“I think there is no question that as states begin to confront the price tag of climate change, they will seek compensation from those responsible. It’s impossible to say when and how that will happen, but it will.”

Lynda Collins, a professor at the University of Ottawa’s Centre for Environmental Law and Global Sustainability, in the Associated Press’ story Tiny island nations target fossil fuel giants for climate change compensation 

Lead stories

EPA moves toward limits on emissions from U.S. airlines
By Chris Mooney – Washington Post
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency moved Wednesday to start the process of regulating greenhouse gas emissions from the nation’s fleet of commercial aircraft, a long-desired objective of environmental groups. But some fear the ultimate approach may prove too weak.  

What countries have offered for Paris climate agreement 
By Karl Ritter – Associated Press 
Ethiopia on Wednesday became the latest country to present a plan to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions for a global climate pact that’s supposed to be adopted in Paris later this year. 

Dems propose carbon tax 
By Timothy Cama – The Hill  
Two Senate Democrats sponsored a bill Wednesday to institute an economy-wide tax on carbon dioxide emissions, revenue that would be returned through rebates and tax cuts.  
***LB: Also in this story “Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) pitched their proposal at an event hosted by the conservative American Enterprise Institute, saying that their bill aligns with conservative economic principles and Republicans should support it.”

Exclusive: Australia overstating greenhouse gas forecasts, making climate targets easier 
By Lenore Taylor – The Guardian
Australia is dramatically overstating its greenhouse gas forecasts and has done so for years, a new study has found, allowing promised climate targets to be met while the country does very little to actually reduce its emissions.   

Paris 2015: 40 per cent Australian carbon emissions cut by 2030 fair, envoy says 
By Peter Hannam – The Sydney Morning Herald
The Abbott government should commit at the Paris climate summit to double the long-term rate at which Australia is now cutting its greenhouse gas emissions, a senior French official said.  

Rich nations study details of massive insurance program to ease Third World climate change damages 
By Lisa Friedman and Evan Lehmann – E&E  
Countries already bearing the brunt of extreme weather events are cautiously optimistic about a new insurance scheme designed by the world’s wealthiest nations to protect about 400 million people in the world’s most vulnerable communities.

Tiny island nations target fossil fuel giants for climate change compensation 
By Raveena Aulakh – Associated Press  
The tiny island of Vanuatu is taking on the world’s fossil fuel giants, seeking compensation for destruction linked to climate change. 
***LB: Also in this story “The Pacific island nation was battered by a fierce storm earlier this year that wiped out most of its infrastructure. Along with five other countries, including the Philippines, it now wants to take the world’s leading fossil fuel companies to court.” 

BP boss widens transatlantic rift in energy industry over climate change  
By Terry Macalister – The Guardian   
BP has threatened to widen a rift between European and US oil companies over how to respond to global warming by urging political leaders to deliver a “substantial” deal at international climate change talks later this year. 


Climate Strategies Forum 
Washington Marriott Hotel at Metro Center 
Washington, DC 
June 24-26, 2015

EMA Annual Meeting
October 28-30, 2015
Omni Parker House Hotel
Boston, MA 


New U.S. truck emissions rules could touch off industry struggle  
By Nick Carey – Reuters  
U.S. environmental regulators are expected within days to propose rules to make trucks more fuel efficient, and trucking industry executives and lobbyists familiar with the process said the rules will probably call for boosting fuel efficiency by 2027 nearly 40 percent from 2010 levels.

Alberta Should Boost Carbon Price Slowly, Suncor’s Williams Says
By Jeremy Van Loon and Matthew Winkler – Bloomberg News
Suncor Energy Inc. Chief Executive Officer Steve Williams says he supports a higher carbon tax for Alberta as long as the rate is increased gradually to ensure Canada’s oil remains competitive with other jurisdictions.

Renewables fastest growing form of energy in 2014: BP
Renewable power was the fastest growing form of energy last year, with a record 6 percent of global power generation, in a year when energy consumption slowed sharply worldwide, BP said in an authoritative review.

Natural gas/coal  

Fracking bids ‘unlikely to be considered soon’
By Geoff Percival – Irish Examiner
Applications for licences to explore for gas using controversial fracking methods are unlikely to be considered for another two years, at least.

U.S. Ousts Russia as Top World Oil, Gas Producer in BP Data
By Rakteem Katakey – Bloomberg news
The U.S. has taken Russia’s crown as the biggest oil and natural-gas producer in a demonstration of the seismic shifts in the world energy landscape emanating from America’s shale fields.


Utilities Jump as U.S. Approves Biggest Grid’s Power Plan
by Jonathan Crawford, Jim Polson and Naureen Malik – Bloomberg News
PJM Interconnection LLC, the largest U.S. electricity grid, won approval by U.S. regulators for a plan to increase the reliability of power plants and avoid a repeat of the shutdowns and surging prices of the winter of 2014. 

EU regulators see harm in GE’s Alstom power deal: sources 
By Foo Yun Chee – Reuters 
General Electric may need to offer stronger concessions to win approval from the EU for its purchase of Alstom’s power unit as regulators plan to warn the U.S. firm that its bid would harm competition, two people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

Modi’s Solar Embrace in India Leaves Wind Power in Shade
By Anindya Upadhyay – Bloomberg News
India is set to add more solar capacity than wind power for the first time as Prime Minister Narendra Modi looks to harness the sun’s rays to curb energy shortages.

Clean tech

GM to Reveal Plan for Secondary Use of Chevy Volt Vehicle Battery 
By John D. Stoll – The Wall Street Journal   
General Motors Co. will reveal a plan for secondary use of the costly batteries installed in Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid cars at a conference next week, a move that could generate interest in a redesigned version of the car set to go on sale later this year. 

Bolloré eyes up frisky ‘inbetweeners’ for London’s electric car sharing revolution 
By Jessica Shankleman – Green Business 
Electric cars bring plenty of benefits: they are quiet, cheap to run, and do not contribute to choking air pollution. 

Tesla says it will double capacity of home battery 
By Anne C. Mulkern – E&E
The home energy storage product that Tesla Motors Inc. unveiled one month ago is getting an upgrade and now will have twice its original capacity, company CEO and co-founder Elon Musk said yesterday.


California drought grips tourist magnet Yosemite  
By Sara Puig – AFP 
It is one of America’s most popular natural wonders. But even Yosemite National Park cannot escape the drought ravaging California, now in its fourth year and fueling growing concern.


Alaska Highway permafrost vulnerable to climate change
By Dave Croft – CBC News 
Researchers at Yukon College and the territory’s highways department are ramping up efforts to preserve permafrost under roadways and prevent frost heaves and other damage. 

Ice sheet collapse 135,000 years ago to help scientists explain dramatic climate changes 
By Alkira Reinfrank – ABC News
The discovery of a massive ice sheet collapse 135,000 years ago could help scientists understand the processes that control the planet’s dramatic climate changes.

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