In today’s edition, a closer look at the $50 billion European carbon market: after a glut caused prices to collapse to levels that don’t deter the burning of coal, the EU is tightening supply. Also, tumbling oil prices expose a weakness in the insurance that some U.S. shale drillers bought to protect themselves against a crash. 

Quote of the day 

“Because most governments selling allowances have a vested interest in higher prices, it will happen.”

Louis Redshaw, a former head of carbon at Barclays Plc and founder of Redshaw Advisors Ltd., which buys and sells permits on behalf of factories, in the Bloomberg News’story Polluting Is Getting Expensive in Europe Again: Carbon & Climate

Lead stories

Crucial Keystone ruling could come Friday
By Laura Barron-Lopez – The Hill
The Nebraska Supreme Court could rule as early as Friday on whether the governor had authority to approve a route for the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline through the state.

Polluting Is Getting Expensive in Europe Again: Carbon & Climate
By Mathew Carr – Bloomberg News
The surge in European carbon permit prices may just be beginning.

Oil Crash Exposes New Risks for U.S. Shale Drillers
By Asjylyn Loder – Bloomberg News
Tumbling oil prices have exposed a weakness in the insurance that some U.S. shale drillers bought to protect themselves against a crash. 
***LB: Also in this story “At least six companies, including Pioneer Natural Resources Co. and Noble Energy Inc., used a strategy known as a three-way collar that doesn’t guarantee a minimum price if crude falls below a certain level, according to company filings. While three-ways can be cheaper than other hedges, they can leave drillers exposed to steep declines.”

Why W Hotels, GM and a craft brewer are swapping trash in Austin
By Lauren Hepler – 
Andrew Mangan has made a career out of trying to monetize the leftover materials cast off by businesses.

House GOP creates energy, EPA oversight panel
By Timothy Cama – The Hill
House Republicans have created a new Oversight Committee subpanel to supervise the Obama administration’s environmental and energy policies.

Feds order up more efficient dishwashers
By Tim Devaney – The Hill
Residential dishwashers are the latest household appliance facing new efficiency rules from the Department of Energy (DOE).

German energy use sinks to lowest level since reunification
By Jessica Shankleman – BusinessGreen
Energy demand in Germany is set to fall by nearly five per cent over the course of this year, new figures this week predict, providing further evidence the government’s Energiewende transition to a low carbon energy system is starting to build momentum.  


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)


Shrinking ship bubbles ‘could counteract climate change’ 
By Rebecca Morelle – BBC News 
Getting ships to generate smaller bubbles as they sail across the oceans could counteract the impact of climate change, a study suggests. Scientists from University of Leeds, UK, say this would create a brighter wake behind a vessel and reflect more sunlight back into space.

Japan Approves Restart Of Two Nuclear Reactors 
By Esther Tanquintic-Misa – International Business Times 
Japan’s nuclear regulator has approved on Wednesday the restart of Nos 3 and 4 reactors of the Takahama nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture after passing rigid tests under new safety standards relative to its reactivation. 
***LB: Also in this story “The plant is operated by Kansai Electric Power Co.”

Natural gas / coal 

Could New York’s Fracking Ban Have Domino Effect? 
By Wendy Koch – National Geographic  
While two dozen U.S. municipalities and at least two countries, Bulgaria and France, have also adopted bans, states have been slower to act. Fracking opponents say New York, which surprised them Wednesday with the boldest move of any state so far, will change that.

A Chat on New York’s Shale Gas Ban with Anti-Fracking Superhero Mark Ruffalo
By Andrew C. Revkin – The New York Times 
On Twitter early this morning, I had a productive exchange about Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s decision to ban shale gas development in New York with Mark Ruffalo, the actor best known for playing the Marvel comic character Hulk. 

Peabody Among Final Two Bidders for Mongolia Coal Mine
By Michael Kohn – Bloomberg News
Peabody Energy Corp. (BTU) and a group consisting of Energy Resources LLC, China Shenhua Energy Co., and Sumitomo Corp. are the two remaining bidders for a contract to develop Tavan Tolgoi, one of Mongolia’s largest coking coal deposits.


China to Cut Wind Tariff Less Than It Planned, Goldwind Says
Bloomberg News 
China will probably cut the preferential rate it offers wind power developers less than previously planned as policy makers seek to expand the industry in a measured way, the country’s leading turbine makers said.

Power Across Texas Rises as Wind Production Declines
By Harry R. Weber – Bloomberg News
Spot wholesale electricity jumped in Texas as wind output was below expectations and demand was above forecast. 

Removal of anti-windfarm group’s charity status is a ‘victory for science’
By Shalailah Medhora – The Guardian
The decision to deregister a controversial anti-wind farming group as a charity proves the organisation has been “pulling the wool over people’s eyes”, renewable energy groups say. 
***LB: Also in this story “The Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission (ACNC) advised the Waubra Foundation that its status as a health promotion charity had been revoked earlier this month. The status gave the organisation, which campaigns on the health effects of wind farms, the ability to receive tax deductible donations.”

UK households to pay 1 billion pounds for backup power plants
By Karolin Schaps – Reuters
British households will pay nearly 1 billion pounds to help guarantee the country’s electricity supply in 2018/19, after a government auction determined who will provide backup power capacity.

UK’s first power capacity auction procures less than planned
Britain’s energy ministry said on Friday the country’s first auction under a new power capacity market mechanism had cleared at 19.40 pounds per kilowatt per year, with 49.26 gigawatts (GW) of capacity contracted to provide backup power in the year 2018/19. 
***LB: Also in this story “The auction result slightly undershoots the intended capacity procurement of 50.8 GW.”

Clean tech

Orbite Receives Two New Patents
Orbite Aluminae Inc. is pleased to announce that the Canadian Intellectual Property Office has granted and issued two new patents to Orbite.


China Giving Generously to West African Water Infrastructure
Circle of Blue
A Chinese bank has loaned money to the Ivory Coast to improve water infrastructure in its capital, the Chinese government has loaned money to Mauritania for the same reason, and the Asian Development Bank is giving a loan to Pakistan to help irrigate its tribal areas.

Sound Global Buys Water Supply Project in East China
Bloomberg News 
Sound Global Ltd. bought a water supply project in Shan county in China’s eastern province of Shandong. The project has an operating term of as many as 35 years, the Chinese wastewater-treatment company said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange yesterday.

Mount Kenya’s Vanishing Glaciers
By Jon Mooallem and Simon Norfolk (photographs) – The New York Times 
In 1941, an Italian civil servant named Felice Benuzzi was captured by Allied forces and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp in East Africa.


Study: Climate change could cut global food production 18 per cent by 2050
Rising temperatures could see world food production drop by almost a fifth by the middle of this century, scientists have warned.

Shock in Southern Tier of New York as Hopes of Gambling and Fracking Both Die
By Jesse McKinkey – The New York Times 
To get a sense of the deep disappointment felt by many here at the twin killings of two potentially lucrative dreams, hydraulic fracturing and a new luxury casino, one needed to look no further than the front-page headline of Thursday’s edition of The Press & Sun-Bulletin.

Arctic temperatures rising twice as fast as the rest of the world
By Timothy Cama – The Hill
Air temperatures in the Arctic region are rising twice as fast as they are in the rest of the world, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said.

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