On the political front, the gaps (and some similarities) between parties in the approach to energy reform and climate change, covered here in Can Congress ever agree on climate change? An interview with Henry Waxman by the Washington Post. And in Reuters, Republican senator lays out path for U.S. independence from OPEC. Also today, Five trends driving action on sustainability in 2013 in GreenBiz.com.

Quote of the Day:

“I think that many lawmakers still don’t realize that there’s a shrinking window for action. They think we can put this issue off indefinitely, and that’s not scientifically accurate. But yes, a lot of members are engaged in willful ignorance — and I’m talking about the committee that has jurisdiction over this issue.”

–Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) in an interview with The Washington Post.

Lead Stories

Greenhouse-Gas Emissions Fall in Power Plants on Coal Cuts
Greenhouse-gas emissions from U.S. power plants fell 4.5 percent in 2011 from the previous year as those facilities burned less coal, the most-intense source of carbon-dioxide pollution.

Can Congress ever agree on climate change? An interview with Henry Waxman
The Washington Post
Four years ago, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) was trying to craft a climate-change policy for the entire country. But he only got halfway there: His massive bill to cap U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions passed through the House, but eventually died in the Senate.
**RKB — Excerpt on cap and trade: A price on carbon can take a number of forms. One is cap-and-trade. Many people have argued for a carbon tax. Some Republican economists have urged that we put a carbon tax in place and use the money to lower other taxes. Other economists have said that a price on carbon can help us not just solve an intractable problem in climate change but also help reduce the deficit. And others have suggested a carbon tax where the money is recycled back to consumers. The essential point here is that any carbon price would have a strong impact on decision-making throughout the economy.

Republican senator lays out path for U.S. independence from OPEC
U.S. independence from OPEC could be a reality if the U.S. government opens more lands for oil and gas development, speeds permitting and approves the Keystone XL pipeline, the top Republican on the Senate energy committee said in a policy report on Monday.

Canada set to cut direct spending on fossil fuel sector
Canada’s federal government is set to sharply cut back its direct spending on the fossil fuel sector as part of an international push to phase out subsidies, the government’s environment watchdog said on Tuesday.
**RKB – Key figures: Tax breaks aimed directly at the fossil fuel sector for 2006/07 to 2010/11 totaled C$1.47 billion.
In addition, separate tax breaks for the mining, oil and gas and clean energy sectors from 2006/07 to 2010/11 totaled C$2 billion.

U.S. Solar Will Eclipse Wind in 2013, Says Duke Energy
The U.S. will add more solar power in 2013 than wind energy for the first time as wind projects slump and cheap panels spur demand for photovoltaic systems, according to the head of Duke Energy Corp. (DUK)’s renewable-energy development unit.

NYSE Euronext to cut costs ahead of ICE sale
NYSE Euronext (NYX.N) has pledged to reduce costs further to offset slower trading as it prepares for this year’s planned sale to IntercontinentalExchange (ICE)(ICE.N).
**RKB – NYSE Euronext Chief Financial Officer Michael Geltzeiler said that the MCX stake sale is in addition to the previously flagged unwinding of the BlueNext carbon-trading exchange, which was built in partnership with France’s Caisse des Depots et Consignations.

A Closer Look at Moderating Views of Climate Sensitivity
The New York Times Dot Earth column
Worse than we thought” has been one of the most durable phrases lately among those pushing for urgent action to stem the buildup of greenhouse gases linked to global warming.

Deep green investing: A closer look
As you’ve no doubt heard, Bill McKibben and his allies at 350.org have launched a national campaign to persuade colleges, universities, churches, foundations and, yes, people like you and me, to stop investing in the fossil fuel industry. The campaign raises interesting questions as, I’m sure, McKibben hoped it would. Among them:
Does divestment make sense as a strategy to curb climate change?

Five trends driving action on sustainability in 2013
After an election year when energy and climate change policies were not central to the national discussion, it may seem interest in sustainability has flagged in the U.S. In fact, the public and private sectors, working together and separately, continue to progress on policies and strategies that support both ecological and economic goals.

Neglected sector is crucial to livelihoods and food security of millions
FAO.org press release
Millions of people could escape poverty, hunger and environmental degradation if countries put more effort into promoting agroforestry, an integrated approach combining trees with crop or livestock production, FAO said today.


RGGI (Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative) Program Review Webinar
February 11, 2013
1:00 PM – 3:00 PM ET

Pre-Register: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/czr9w6gqzruv

Aviation Carbon 2013
February 19-20, 2012

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

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

Natural Gas/Coal/Alternative Fuels

New York Hires Fracking Geologist With Ties to Industry
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration hired a university geologist and consultant for gas driller EQT Corp. (EQT) to study links between hydraulic fracturing and earthquakes, a move that drew criticism from a government watchdog group.

A Clash in Pennsylvania Over Fracking and Water Tests
The New York Times
A war of words has broken out between environmentalists and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection over the cancellation of a meeting on the state’s testing of water from water wells near natural-gas drilling sites.

Vast Oil Reserve May Now Be Within Reach, and Battle Heats Up
The New York Times
Secure in this state’s history and mythology, the venerable Midway-Sunset oil field near here keeps producing crude more than a century after Southern California’s oil boom. Many of its bobbing pump jacks are relatively short, a telltale sign of the shallowness of the wells and the ease of extracting their prize.

Obama Failing on Public Lands, Former Interior Secretary Says
The New York Times
Bruce Babbitt, the interior secretary in the Clinton administration and a former governor of Arizona, made one of his periodic forays out of the political wilderness on Tuesday to criticize the Obama administration for favoring oil and gas development over conservation on public lands.

Polish firms miss deadline but continue talks on shale gas deal
Polish gas monopoly PGNiG said on Tuesday it and four other state-controlled companies had missed a deadline this week to work out how to cooperate in developing the country’s shale gas resources but would continue negotiations.

Brazil’s Petrobras to Produce 29% More Ethanol Fuel, Valor Says
Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PETR4), Brazil’s state-controlled oil producer, may produce 1.06 billion liters (280 million gallons) of ethanol from the next sugarcane crop, 29 percent more than this season, Valor Economico SA reported.

COLUMN-Tribes call for faster drilling on Indian lands: Kemp
Native American communities are often portrayed as victims of avaricious oil and gas drillers and pipeline companies, who despoil the prairie with little thought for sacred sites.

COLUMN-India gives short- and long-term support for coal: Clyde Russell
Coal miners should be thankful that their Indian counterparts consistently fail to produce as much of the fuel as they plan to, as rising imports in the South Asian nation are helping support prices.

Under Obama, coal country fights for its way of life
Leon Lieser has been a coal miner 49 years, his bent fingers testament to his first job, loading coal by hand into a bucket. Mining also led to a hip replacement and a knee replacement. He loves his job and his industry, despite what it has done to his body.


Trianel calls for German power market reform
German utility group Trianel said its new coal-fired power station at Luenen will be loss-making for years and urged policymakers to come up with remedies for a skewed energy market.

Kazakhstan to Add 1 Gigawatt of Renewable Energy Power by 2020
Kazakhstan plans to invest in the construction of hydro, wind and solar power plants to add 1,040 megawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2020.

Mizuho Leads Japanese Group to Build Solar-Power Plant in India
Mizuho Financial Group Inc. (8411) will lead a group of Japanese companies to build a solar plant in Gujarat as India targets an eightfold expansion in sun-powered capacity.

Eastern Europe Wind May Power 9 Million Homes by 2020, EWEA Says
Wind turbines in central and eastern Europe may power 9 million homes by the end of this decade if local governments take steps to encourage investments, the European Wind Energy Association said in a study.

GE to Supply $30 Million Turbines for Romanian Wind Park
General Electric Co. (GE) will supply seven wind turbines worth about $30 million to Energia Verde Ventuno Srl, a Romanian private company, for a wind park.


India’s river-linking project mired in cost squabbles and politics
The idea of linking India‘s rivers to put an end to droughts and floods has exercised a mesmerising grip on the nation’s mind for decades. That grip has become even stronger since neighbouring China embarked upon various water diversion projects, and pushed ahead with its own gargantuan engineering projects.


Paper Producer to Stop Clearing of Indonesian Forests
The New York Times
Asia Pulp and Paper, one of the largest pulp and paper producers in the world, said on Tuesday that it had stopped clearing natural forests across its supply chains in Indonesia, accelerating an earlier commitment to do so by 2015.


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

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