Summary

In today’s edition, the European grid weathered today’s eclipse well. Also, more info on President Obama’s decision to have a 40 percent reduction in the federal government’s greenhouse gas emissions, and finally, Carlyle and Blackstone’s shopping list in the oil and gas industry (no talk of renewables, unfortunately), as the collapse in oil prices could lead to a wave of asset sales.   

Quote of the day

“These are ambitious goals, but we know that they’re achievable goals.”

President Obama, in The Hill’s story Feds to clean up their act 

Lead stories

Solar Eclipse and Supermoon Have Europe Energy Providers Watchful
By Melissa Eddy – The New York Times
Germany has enthusiastically embraced the sun as an important source of energy, but a strange celestial trifecta on Friday evoked a shiver of ancient fears — and the more practical concern that the lights might go out. 
http://jlne.ws/18OaX03

European power grids keep lights on through solar eclipse 
By Vera Eckert – Reuters
Electrical grids in Europe succeeded in managing the unprecedented disruption to solar power from Friday’s 2-1/2-hour eclipse that brought sudden, massive drops in supply. 
http://jlne.ws/1OdOJVU

Buyout groups hunt for energy targets
By Christopher Adams and Joseph Cotterill – Financial Times
Private equity groups including Carlyle and Blackstone are to deploy billions of dollars in a hunt for acquisitions across the oil and gas industry, with a collapse in oil prices expected to lead to a wave of asset sales.  
http://jlne.ws/1BWcqf1

Feds to clean up their act
By Timothy Cama – The Hill
Leading by example: President Obama ordered a 40 percent reduction in the federal government’s greenhouse gas emissions, part of an effort to lead by example and spur private-sector emissions cuts. 
http://jlne.ws/1Ha1DCf

White House slams McConnell on EPA 
By Timothy Cama – The Hill
The White House is excoriating Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for advising states to ignore the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) climate rule for power plants.  
http://jlne.ws/1LzPzxp

Who are really Australia’s top climate polluters?
By Graham Readfearn – The Guardian
Environment group the Australian Conservation Foundation released a top ten list yesterday. 
http://jlne.ws/1995WPm 
***LB: Also in this story “The ten most polluting companies – led by Energy Australia, which generates electricity mainly through burning coal and gas – make up almost one third of the country’s entire emissions.”

Events 

World Green Economy Summit 2015 
22 April 2015 – 23 April 2015
Dubai, United Arab Emirates 
http://jlne.ws/1By0E6J

Navigating the American Carbon World (NACW) 2015
North America’s premier conference on climate policy and carbon markets
Presented by the Climate Action Reserve
April 28-30, 2015
Los Angeles, California 
http://jlne.ws/1F1ycOT  

Carbon

Forest conservation key to combating climate change, say UN officials
Jamaica Observer
Rows of Jamaican mahogany in the shade house at the Forestry Department waiting to be transplanted. Tree-planting events are among the activities planned for tomorrow’s celebration of International Day of Forests. 
http://jlne.ws/1MPEfKT 

Natural gas / coal

McConnell Urges States to Help Thwart Obama’s ‘War on Coal’
By Coral Davenport – The New York Times
Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has begun an aggressive campaign to block President Obama’s climate change agenda in statehouses and courtrooms across the country, arenas far beyond Mr. McConnell’s official reach and authority. 
http://jlne.ws/1I480VB 

Japan utilities seek steeper coal import discount as glut mounts
By James Regan and Yuka Obayashi – Reuters
Japanese utilities are seeking a steeper discount on next year’s thermal coal price contracts than the 15 percent foreign mining companies are willing to accept, sources said on Friday. 
http://jlne.ws/1GyGRc1

Power

(UK’s) Eric Pickles sees the light over Science Museum’s giant solar farm
By Jessica Shankleman – BusinessGreen
The Science Museum’s plans to build a giant solar farm at an old World War Two airfield in Wiltshire finally got the go-ahead this week from communities secretary Eric Pickles. 
http://jlne.ws/1I48uLi

Glasgow begins switch to LED street lights
By Will Nichols – BusinessGreen
More than 10,000 street lights in Glasgow will be replaced with low-energy, cheaper alternatives with funding from the Green Investment Bank (GIB). 
http://jlne.ws/1C485rn 

Clean tech

Tesla to offer hands-free steering on Model S
By Paul Lienert – Reuters
Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA.O) will soon offer upgrades including hands-free steering on its Model S sedan, Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said on Thursday, but the news did not help the electric carmaker’s volatile shares which fell more than 2 percent. 
http://jlne.ws/1Lz6i3T

Water

UN calls for action as global water crisis looms
DW
In its annual World Water Development Report released on Friday, the world body said if current trends of water usage continue, the demand for water will exceed its replenishment by 40 percent by 2030. 
http://jlne.ws/1C41wVR  

Miscellaneous

Faith Leaders Hope to Sow Seeds of Change for Climate 
By Rosanne Skirble – Voice of America
A climate initiative in the Catholic Church has engaged more than 50 countries in a fast for the planet. 
http://jlne.ws/1CDHHGY

Revealed: Gates Foundation’s $1.4bn in fossil fuel investments
By Damian Carrington and Karl Mathiesen – The Guardian
The charity run by Bill and Melinda Gates, who say the threat of climate change is so serious that immediate action is needed, held at least $1.4bn (£1bn) of investments in the world’s biggest fossil fuel companies, according to a Guardian analysis of the charity’s most recent tax filing in 2013. 
http://jlne.ws/1BWz1Ib

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