In today’s edition, musings about how solar power and electric cars could make suburban living awesome again, how renewable energy companies are using their new clout, and how to look back on 2014 and ahead to 2015. 

Quote of the day

“If you have an electric car, you’re going to use more electricity in your home, it makes sense for you to have solar panels. And once you have solar panels, it makes sense to have an electric car.”

Magali A. Delmas, from the UCLA Institute of the Environment, in the Washington Post’s story How solar power and electric cars could make suburban living awesome again



Lead stories

Pakistan and Iran reach agreement on unmet gas deal
By Farhan Bokhari – Financial Times
Energy-starved Pakistan has convinced Iran to step back from demanding $200m a month from January 1 to compensate for Islamabad’s failure to begin receiving gas from Iran’s South Pars gasfield, according to the country’s minister for petroleum.

Renewable Energy Companies Use New Clout in Statehouses
By Jeffery Stinson –
Earlier this year, Ohio became the first state to freeze a scheduled increase in the amount of electricity that must be generated by wind, solar and other renewable sources.

How solar power and electric cars could make suburban living awesome again
By Chris Mooney – The Washington Post
The suburbs have had it rough in the last few years. The 2008-2009 economic collapse led to waves of foreclosures in suburbia, as home prices plummeted.

Drought, Heat and Ice: 2015 Could Be Tipping Point on Climate
By Miguel Llanos – NCB News
With 2014 looking like it will go down as the warmest year globally on record, climate scientists now wonder whether 2015 will be the year nations finally take significant steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Poll: Voters’ view of EPA hits low point
By Timothy Cama – The Hill
A record-low number of voters have a favorable view of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), according to a new survey from conservative polling outlet Rasmussen Reports.

China to beat energy intensity target in 2014
China is on track to surpass its 2014 target for reducing the energy intensity of its economy, the country’s top climate change official said this week, according to state news agency Xinhua.
***LB: Also in this story “The amount of energy China uses for each yuan it adds to its GDP is set to be 4.9% less in 2014 compared to last year, Xie Zhenhua, vice director of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said on Wednesday, according to Xinhua.”

Obama names new top nuclear regulator
By Timothy Cama – The Hill
President Obama named a new chairman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to replace the outgoing one.

The Eight Best Things To Happen To Renewable Energy In 2014
By Katie Valentine – Climate Progress
2014 brought us plenty of news to be unhappy about.


Defense, National Security & Climate Change Symposium
January 7-8, 2015
Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Washington DC

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


E.P.A. Wrestles With Role of Nuclear Plants in Carbon Emission Rules
By Matthew L. Wald – The New York Times
Trying to write a complicated formula to cut carbon emissions, the Environmental Protection Agency thinks it has found a magic number: 5.8.

Natural gas / coal

China rethinking plans to build coal-to-gas plants
By Hal Bernton – The Seattle Times
China’s coal-to-gas industry has struggled through a difficult year that has spurred doubts among government officials about keeping this technology on a fast-track for development.

White House reviews federal oil, gas royalty changes
By Timothy Cama – The Hill
The White House is reviewing a proposal aimed at ensuring that taxpayers are getting a fair return when private companies drill for oil and natural gas on public land.


ScottishPower eyes big expansion of onshore wind energy
By Mure Dickie- Financial Times
ScottishPower, the UK’s largest generator of wind power, has said it sees plenty of room for expansion in Scotland despite the opposition the turbines attract.

Wind power project near A.C. down, not out, backers say
By Russ Zimmer – Ashbury Park Press
The proponents of the Fishermen’s Energy windmill project won’t take no for an answer, and a new report says, for the sake of our planet, they shouldn’t.

Texas becoming less reliant on coal to generate electricity
By Brian Mylar –
A recent report by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas said power companies in Texas are increasingly turning away from the use of coal to generate electricity in favor of more natural gas, solar and wind generators.


In Cuba, a Port Grows Where Refugees Fled
By Anatoly Kurmanaev  – Bloomberg News
The last time Elda Fernandez Acosta saw U.S. ships come into the harbor at Mariel was to evacuate thousands of Cubans seeking a better life abroad 34 years ago. The next time she sees them, they’ll be loaded with Cuban goods for export, she says.


The Fossil Fuel Industry Spent More Than $721 Million During 2014’s Midterm Elections
By Emily Atkin – Climate Progress
The 2014 midterm elections saw a wave of Republican candidates elected and re-elected to federal office, many of whom are now rearing to make the environment their first casualty of the 114th Congress. As it turns out, the fossil fuel industry may have had something to do with that.



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