In this edition, attention on what’s next for leadership at the EPA and the agency’s limitations in fracking study. Plus, a NY Times Green blog on what drives climate change contrarians. And in reports from the alternative fuels space, Reuters offers: U.S. oil, food groups petition Supreme Court over ethanol blend.

Quote of the Day:

“We can find a way instead of having national solutions. . . to open up opportunities for states to use all the flexibility, the ingenuity, the innovation that you have shown could be done, and just simply get it done.”

–EPA chief candidate Gina McCarthy in Reuters’ U.S. EPA’s “McCarthy mum on new job, says states to lead climate rules”

Lead Stories

U.S. EPA’s McCarthy mum on new job, says states to lead climate rules
Gina McCarthy, said to be U.S. President Barack Obama’s choice as the nation’s top environmental regulator, avoided questions about a potential promotion on Thursday but said states will play a key role in shaping federal regulations at an energy and climate policy forum.

Front-runner to lead EPA vows more action on climate change
The Hill’s E2 Wire
The front-runner to fill the vacancy atop the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pledged to push ahead with actions to confront climate change during a wide-ranging speech Thursday.

4 Things to Know About Gina McCarthy, Obama’s Pick to Head EPA
National Journal
President Obama is poised to pick Gina McCarthy, the Environmental Protection Agency’s assistant administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation, to head the EPA, Reuters reports. Here are a few things you should know about McCarthy:

Top oil lobbyist: New climate bill will never reach Senate floor
The Hill’s E2 Wire
The head of a powerful oil industry trade group predicts the Senate will shy away from debate on new Democratic legislation that imposes fees on carbon emissions from coal and petroleum.

Fracking Emissions Get Review After EPA Watchdog Report
Federal environmental regulators said they will more closely study air emissions from hydraulic fracturing after the agency’s auditor concluded current information is insufficient to make policy decisions.

Report: Flaws in EPA Drilling Pollution Data
Limited data and unreliable estimates on air pollution from oil and natural gas production is hindering the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to police the drilling boom, the agency’s internal watchdog said in a report released Thursday.

Groups flock to White House to talk ‘fracking’ rules
The Hill’s E2 Wire
Environmental advocates and representatives from the oil-and-gas industry are flocking to the White House following the submission of a draft rule that would govern the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing on public lands.

In European Union, Emissions Trade Is Sputtering
The New York Times
President Barack Obama is trying to persuade the United States to adopt a cap-and-trade system to curb greenhouse gas emissions. But the European Union’s Emissions Trading System — the world’s flagship effort — is sputtering. European carbon permits, which traded at about 30 euro per ton a few years ago, are now hovering at about 5 euro per ton or less.

EU mulls 2030 targets for CO2 and renewables, but not energy efficiency
The 27 EU Commissioners are meeting in Brussels today (20 February) to consider early proposals for 2030 climate targets covering CO2 emissions and possibly renewables. But the proposals aren’t likely to extend to efficiency, despite EU data showing the continent is on track to miss its 2020 goals.

Europe to get its first EU-wide offshore oil and gas law
The EU proposed yesterday (21 February) its first law to regulate safety in offshore oil and gas drilling across the 27-member bloc and prevent any repeat of BP’s catastrophic Gulf of Mexico spill.

New Dow Jones sustainability index targets emerging markets
Business Green
Dow Jones has launched what it claims is the first index to measure the sustainability performance of companies from emerging markets.


2013 Climate Leadership Conference
Washington D.C.
February 27-March 1, 2013

Wall Street Green Summit XII
March 18, 2013
Center for Architecture, New York

Navigating the American Carbon World (NACW) 2013
San Francisco April 16-18


Scotland Joins WWF, SSE in 2030 Carbon Goal Call to Spur Wind
The Scottish government joined utilities, charities and churches urging Britain to impose a carbon target on the power industry, the broadest call yet from groups seeking to guide debate on legislation in Parliament.
**repeats in Power

Carbon Masters eyeing overseas sales of 3.5m pounds
Scotland Herald
EDINBURGH-based Carbon Masters, which advises clients on measuring and managing emissions, predicts it will achieve total international sales of £3.5 million over a five-year period as it undertakes work in South America and India and eyes a move into the US.

AkzoNobel Pledges to Cut Carbon Emissions 25-30%
Environmental Leader
AkzoNobel has set new sustainability targets that include reducing carbon emissions by 25 to 30 percent per ton of product by 2020, compared to 2012 levels.

PNC Emissions Resolution to Stay, SEC Says
Environmental Leader
A shareholder resolution proposing that PNC Financial assess the greenhouse gas emissions in its lending portfolio as well as its exposure to climate change risk must remain on the proxy ballot, according to a ruling by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Unlocking the Conspiracy Mind-Set
The New York Times Green blog
When I first met the NASA climate researcher Gavin Schmidt a few years ago, we discussed the proliferation of material on the Internet attacking mainstream climate science. I asked him whether he thought climate contrarians were flirting with conspiracy theory in their views.

Natural Gas/Coal/Alternative Fuels

U.S. oil, food groups petition Supreme Court over ethanol blend
U.S. oil and food groups petitioned the Supreme Court on Thursday to reverse a lower court’s decision upholding the use of higher ethanol blends in cars, another step in their struggling effort to put limits on use of the renewable fuel.

Ethanol RIN Credits Jump 38% to 47 Cents, Starfuels Says
The value of Renewable Identification Numbers for corn-based ethanol jumped on concern that biofuel production and gasoline consumption won’t be robust enough to meet U.S. targets.

COLUMN-Paper trading needed in Asian coal market, but not coming: Clyde Russell
There is a growing disconnect in global coal markets, with the bulk of paper trading happening in the Atlantic basin, even though the physical market has shifted dramatically to Asia.

Report: Shale gas-inspired price falls are “wishful thinking”
Business Green
Claims UK shale gas could drive down gas prices as it has in the US is nothing more than “wishful thinking” due to higher extraction costs and slower planning processes, analysts have said.


Scotland Joins WWF, SSE in 2030 Carbon Goal Call to Spur Wind
The Scottish government joined utilities, charities and churches urging Britain to impose a carbon target on the power industry, the broadest call yet from groups seeking to guide debate on legislation in Parliament.
**repeats in Carbon

Spain’s Abengoa to Invest $114.3 Million in Peruvian Power Line
Abengoa SA (ABG) of Spain won a concession to build a power line in Peru, the Andean country’s government said.

Norway’s consumers may end up subsidising renewables in Sweden
Norwegian taxpayers could end up subsidising the construction of renewable power generation in neighbouring Sweden because investment under a joint subsidy scheme is cheaper on the other side of the border.


Peru Starts South America’s Biggest Water Treatment Plant
Peru began operations today at the Taboada water-treatment plant, South America’s largest, which will handle sewage for almost half of the 9 million inhabitants in the capital, Lima.

Suez Reaches China Wastewater Management Accord With Dayi Water
Suez Environnement (SEV), Europe’s second- biggest water company, is entering the Sichuan market in China by teaming up with Dayi Water to manage wastewater treatment plants in Shuangliu County.


The State of Green Business 2013 (Posted February 12, 2013)

Can the US Get There from Here? (Posted February 6, 2013)

The Billion Euro Aviation Bonanza – Aviation’s Participation in the EU ETS (Posted January 22, 2013)

Power Forward: Why the World’s Largest Companies are Investing in Renewable Energy (Posted Dec. 11, 2012)

Stock Exchange Benchmark On Non-Financial Reporting Rules (Posted Dec. 6, 2012)

Regional Investment of RGGI CO2 Allowance Proceeds, 2011 (Posted Nov. 27, 2012)

2012 Report on Sustainable and Responsible Investing Trends in the US (Posted Nov. 27, 2012)
The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment

Climate Change Report Warns of Dramatically Warmer World This Century (Posted Nov. 19, 2012)
World Bank

Americans’ Global Warming Beliefs and Attitudes in September 2012 (Posted Oct. 21, 2012)
Yale Project on Climate Change Communication

View all reports >

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