In today’s edition, the irony of the situation is that on the one hand, President Obama plans to impose new regulations on the oil and gas industry’s emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, in order to tackle the climate crisis, and on the other hand, the US Senate will vote on whether climate change is happening! Anyway, others are taking more worthy initiatives, such as the Corporate Leaders Group demanding urgent action to boost EU carbon price or BP backing Masdar as a ‘carbon offset partner’.

Quote of the day 

“This is the biggest opportunity to curb climate change pollution that they haven’t already seized.”

David Doniger, director of the climate and clean air program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, an advocacy group, in the New York Times’ story Obama Is Said to Be Planning New Rules on Oil and Gas Industry’s Methane Emissions

Lead stories

Obama Is Said to Be Planning New Rules on Oil and Gas Industry’s Methane Emissions
By Coral Davenport – The New York Times 
In President Obama’s latest move using executive authority to tackle climate change, administration officials will announce plans this week to impose new regulations on the oil and gas industry’s emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, according to a person familiar with Mr. Obama’s plans.

Senate to vote on whether climate change is happening 
By Laura Barron-Lopez – The Hill 
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Tuesday he will allow the Senate to vote on an amendment asking if they agree that climate change is impacting the planet.

Here come the Keystone amendments
By Laura Barron-Lopez and Timothy Cama – The Hill
Keystone Moves Forward: The Senate agreed to cut the clock short and move forward on legislation to approve the Keystone XL pipeline Tuesday afternoon.

Canada Sends Intelligence Team To Guard Arctic As Russia Strengthens Military Capabilities 
By Esther Tanquintic-Misa – International Business Times 
Canada’s military has been discovered regularly sending out an intelligence team to the North pole during yearly Arctic exercises, in what it claims are measures against possible spying, terrorism and sabotage.

Corporate Leaders Group demands urgent action to boost EU carbon price
By James Murray – BusinessGreen
The Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change has today waded into the long-running debate over the future of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), calling on MEPs to back plans to reform the scheme and boost the bloc’s carbon price.

MEPs set to vote on EU delay to waste and air pollution plans
By Jessica Shankleman – BusinessGreen
The European Commission could face a battle with MEPs this week over its plans to delay new air pollution and waste regulations, after the Liberal group announced it was seeking to launch a cross-party campaign against the controversial proposals. 

BP backs Masdar as ‘carbon offset partner’
Trade Arabia
Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, has announced BP as the ‘Official Carbon Offset Partner’ for a yearly event that unites the international community in an effort to address the interconnected challenges of energy and water security, climate risk and sustainable development.

Illinois Considering Carbon Tax, Cap-and-Trade to Save Exelon Nukes
By Ted Caddell – RTO Insider 
Illinois officials last week offered state legislators a list of options for keeping Exelon’s nuclear plants running — including a carbon tax and a cap-and-trade program —  all of which will likely result in higher power prices for consumers.


2015 Climate Leadership Conference
ACCO, EPA, The Climate Registry, C2ES
February 23-25, 2015
Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City (Arlington, VA) 


Building Carbon Markets From Soot
By Kelley Hamrick – Ecosystem Marketplace 
There are plenty of reasons for not pursuing a clean cookstoves program in Nepal: political uncertainty, lengthy timeframes, and the inaccessibility of remote villages in the far western part of the country.

2015 Begins With CO2 Above 400 PPM Mark 
By Andrea Thompson – Climate Central 
The new year has only just begun, but we’ve already recorded our first days with average carbon dioxide levels above 400 parts per million, potentially leading to many months in a row above this threshold, experts say.

Natural gas /coal

China Calls for Local Targets to Curb Coal Use to Cut Pollution
Bloomberg News 
China asked four regions including Shanghai and Guangdong to set targets for reducing coal use by the end of June as part of efforts to curb pollution.


Google clean energy capacity passes 2.5GW with latest solar investment
Google’s latest clean energy investment is set to see the company team up with a unit of Prudential Financial to fund Utah’s largest solar power project to date.

Clean tech

Chevy introduces new electric Bolt said to get 200 miles per charge
By Benjamin Preston – The Guardian
The North American International Auto Show on Monday debuted with a long-awaited electric car – but with low oil prices, a retro hatchback design and a hefty price tag, the new offering will have plenty of obstacles to hurdle in order to prove itself.

Police and NHS in front line of government electric car rollout
By Will Nichols – BusinessGreen
The police, fire service and the NHS are among the public sector bodies expected to introduce around 200 plug-in electric vehicles to their fleets as part of the latest stage of a government trial.

Low carbon battery-powered train carries first passengers
By Will Nichols – BusinessGreen
A new battery-powered train will pick up its first passengers this week, signalling that the days of noisy and polluting diesel engines may soon be a thing of the past.


Beijing Seen Conserving Water Due to Price Increase, Xinhua Says
Bloomberg News 
Residents in Beijing, with a population of about 21 million, are expected to save 10 million cubic meters (353 million cubic feet) of water a year amid the pressure of rising water prices, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

China’s Water Transfers Not Enough For Security
Circle of Blue
A new study questions China’s future water security, despite major infrastructure projects.


The best way to get people to save energy isn’t through their pocketbook, a UCLA study finds 
By Marianne Lavelle – The Daily Climate 
Conventional wisdom holds that the most effective way to get people to save energy is to show them how much money they’ll save. 

Obama environmental adviser to resign
By Timothy Cama – The Hill
One of President Obama’s top environmental advisers will resign in March, the White House said. 
***LB: Also in this story “Mike Boots, acting chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) since last February, has been responsible for coordinating many of the Obama administration’s top environmental and climate change policy priorities.”

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