In today’s edition, the US Supreme Court deals a blow to President Obama’s climate efforts in stating that the EPA “unreasonably” interpreted the Clean Air Act when it decided to set limits on emissions from power plants. Also, UN’s Ban Ki-Moon complains that negotiations for a deal to fight climate change are moving at a “snail’s pace”, while South Korea joins nations already officially committed to cut emissions by announcing a 37% reduction target.

Quote of the day

“We are making great efforts to bring about a revolution in energy production and consumption.”

Xie Zhenhua, China’s climate change envoy, in the Guardian’s story UN climate talks moving at snail’s pace, says Ban Ki-moon 

Lead stories 

Supreme Court: EPA unreasonably interpreted the Clean Air Act
In a loss for the Obama administration, the Supreme Court ruled that the EPA unreasonably interpreted the Clean Air Act when it decided to set limits on the emissions of toxic pollutants from power plants without first considering the costs on the industry to do so.    

The Supreme Court Can’t Save Coal (Editorial)
Bloomberg News 
It took 41 years from the time it was enacted by Congress for the Clean Air Act to limit the amount of mercury and other poisonous substances that coal-fired power plants are allowed spew into the air.

Court emboldens GOP on climate regs 
By Timothy Cama – The Hill 
The Supreme Court emboldened opponents of the Obama administration’s environmental agenda Monday with its ruling against a major air pollution rule. 

US In midst of energy soul-searching 
By Tony Ganzer – 
Renewable energy will be back in the headlines in the US, if the Solar Impulse team is successful in getting its message across as it flies across the continent. 

Robert Redford urges global action on climate change 
By Edith M. Lederer – Associated Press
Robert Redford said he came to the United Nations Monday not as an actor but as an environmental advocate, father, grandfather and concerned citizen to urge the world’s nations to take action now on climate change.

UN climate talks moving at snail’s pace, says Ban Ki-moon 
By Suzanne Goldenberg – The Guardian 
Negotiations for a deal to fight climate change were moving at a “snail’s pace”, the United Nations chief, Ban Ki-Moon, told a high-level meeting on Monday. 

South Korea eyes 37% emissions cut 
The Korea Herald
South Korea on Tuesday offered to cut its carbon dioxide emissions by 37 percent from the expected business-as-usual level by 2030, revising its previous targets in the face of criticism that the country was backtracking in its progress.

100 Billion Reasons a Global Climate-Change Deal May Fall Apart
By Alex Nussbaum – Bloomberg News
The richest nations still haven’t convinced the rest of the world they’re willing to pay the tab to help curb climate change, diplomats warned at a United Nations conference Monday.

The surprisingly important climate policy moment that’s coming this week
By Chris Mooney  – Washington Post
White House officials confirmed Thursday that in President Obama’s meetings this coming week with the president of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, they’re going to be talking about climate change. 

With ’15 energy plan, N.Y. bids to become cleanest energy state in U.S. 
By Colin Sullivan – E&E
New York made a bold declaration about clean energy yesterday with a state energy plan that promises a host of policy efforts aimed at scrubbing the state of fossil fuels and advancing a future heavy on distributed generation and renewable energy. 

Farm Waste and Animal Fats Will Help Power a United Jet 
By Jad Mouawad and Diane Cardwell – The New York Times 
Sometime this summer, a United Airlines flight will take off from Los Angeles International Airport bound for San Francisco using fuel generated from farm waste and oils derived from animal fats.


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


Opinion: What The Pope Gets Wrong On Offsetting
By Steve Zwick – Ecosystem Marketplace 
Pope Francis’s “Ecumenical Letter on Care for Our Common Home” is elegant, inspirational, and insightful. It may even prove to be transformational if people heed its call to deliver themselves from soul-sucking consumerism and immerse themselves in nature and the brotherhood of man.  

China’s carbon crunch 
By Helen Briggs – BBC News 
There are growing expectations that China will soon give details of its pledge to cut carbon emissions ahead of key UN climate talks at the end of the year in Paris.

EPA to hear testimony on plan to cut renewable fuels 
By Bill Draper – The Associated Press
A federal proposal to reduce the amount of renewable fuels required in gasoline would have a stifling impact on the ethanol industry and goes against the intentions of Congress when it set the standards eight years ago, opponents of the suggested changes said.  

Six states increasing gas taxes on July 1 
By Keith Laing – The Hill 
Six states are scheduled to increase their gas taxes on July 1 to help pay for transportation projects, according to the Citizens for Tax Justice and Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP). 
***LB: Also in this story “The groups said Monday that drivers in Idaho, Georgia, Maryland, Rhode Island, Nebraska and Vermont will be charged more at the pump beginning on Wednesday as a result of laws taking effect at the start states’ new fiscal year.”

Alberta puts pressure on oil sands with plan to double carbon fee 
By Benjamin Hulac – E&E
The top environmental official in Alberta — home to the Canadian oil patch that would be the point of origin for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline — announced yesterday that the province will raise its carbon price next year.  
***LB: Also in this story “Shannon Phillips, Alberta’s minister of environment and parks, said the exiting fee of $15 per metric ton will climb to $20 per metric ton in 2016 and $30 per ton in 2017.” 

How coastland development ‘blue carbon’ contributes to climate change 
By John Elder – The Sunday Age
Coastal developers should be paying to offset air pollution – not from their bulldozers and or dredging barges, but from the tonnes of ancient carbon released into the atmosphere when wetlands are drained and dug up. 

Why the French are losing enthusiasm for nuclear 
By Umair Irfan – E&E
The host nation for this year’s climate talks is pumping the brakes on one of its most successful ways of controlling carbon. 

A Liberal government would put a price on carbon pollution, (Canada’s) Justin Trudeau says 
The Canadian Press 
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has unveiled his environmental platform, saying he would work with the provinces to put a price on carbon pollution if he becomes Canada’s next prime minister.

Natural gas/coal 

Germany needs an exit plan from coal 
The German government is set to decide on Wednesday whether or not to implement a “climate levy” on especially dirty coal-power plants.   

Lifeline for German coal to be costly for public, markets 
By Vera Eckert – Reuters
German utilities hope the government will drop a plan to slap carbon levies on coal-fired power plants on Wednesday, but compensating the companies to move aging capacity to a reserve scheme instead would create new problems. 

Netanyahu buys time to resolve political problems over gas deal 
By Jeffrey Heller – Reuters
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has won more time to overcome a political hurdle after parliament postponed a vote on authorising the government to secure a deal on developing Israel’s natural gas fields.

New York makes fracking ban official 
By Timothy Cama – The Hill 
New York state regulators put the finishing touches Monday on the state’s highly controversial ban on hydraulic fracturing.

UK officials reject fracking application 
By Timothy Cama – The Hill 
Local officials in an England county Monday rejected what would have been the first hydraulic fracturing operation in the United Kingdom in three years and only its second ever.  

The prospects for UK shale gas have never looked bleaker 
By Damian Carrington – The Guardian
Be in no doubt, it is a seismic decision. Nine county councillors have defied the full-throated backing of David Cameron, well over £100m of spending from shale gas firm Cuadrilla and their own planning officers to reject plans for the UK’s first full-scale fracking.
***LB: Also in this story “Cuadrilla are almost certain to appeal Lancashire county council’s decision, but the nascent fracking industry in the UK may never recover from this blow.” 


Change in the air as Ethiopia harnesses green power 
By Karim Lebhour – AFP
The wind blows hard over Adama, a range of rocky hills in Ethiopia’s highlands that provide the perfect location for one of the continent’s largest wind farms. 

Hawaii Wrestles With Vagaries of Solar Power 
By Rebeca Smith and Lynn Cook – Wall Street Journal  
For a glimpse of the promise and problems of turning the electric grid green, there’s no better place to look than Hawaii. 

Michigan Utilities Work To Comply With Air Pollution Rule 
By Alisha Green – Associated Press
The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to release a decision this week about new mercury and toxic air emissions standards for power plants, but Michigan’s utility companies have already been working toward compliance.   

Emerson Electric to spin off network power business 
U.S. factory automation equipment maker Emerson Electric Co said it planned to spin off its network power business as part of its efforts to focus on high-growth businesses.

(UK’s) Government must explain removal of support for onshore wind, advisers say 
By Fiona Harvey – The Guardian  
The government must explain how its withdrawal of support from onshore windfarms will affect the cost of meeting greenhouse gas emissions targets, and urgently set out plans for alternative electricity generation, its statutory advisors on climate change have said.

Clean tech

Meet the conductor: London set to trial first all-electric doubledecker bus 
By Gwyn Topham – The Guardian  
The first fully electric London doubledecker bus will enter service in October, as transport authorities try to reduce the capital’s air pollution levels. 


Dramatic Photos Show Brazil’s Crippling Drought
By Brian Clark Howard – National Geographic
São Paulo’s 20 million people are suffering in a historic crisis. South America’s largest city is having its worst drought in a century. The city’s reservoir system is at historic low levels and may be completely dry by August. 

States sue to block Obama’s water rule 
By Timothy Cama – The Hill 
Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi sued the Obama administration Monday to stop a new regulation asserting federal authority over minor waterways like streams and wetlands. 

Drought conditions make bad air worse, aggravate health problems 
By Sammy Caiola – Sacramento Bee
A longtime asthma sufferer, Shirley Bittante tries to stay inside when the air district rates conditions outside her Fair Oaks house as “unhealthy.” 


India’s next weapon against climate change? The heat-tolerant dwarf cow 
By K. Rajendran –  Thomson Reuters Foundation 
Worsening heat, fodder shortages and the threat of drought are forcing many hard-hit dairy farmers in the Anantapur area of India’s southern Kerala state to reduce their herds, experts say. 

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