In today’s edition, France opposes Alstom’s decision to accept GE’s offer to buy its energy assets, saying the deal is not “good enough”, while Washington braces for a vote that could  include a provision to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. 


Quote of the day

“As it stands, we unfortunately cannot agree with the proposals you made, based solely on the acquisition of Alstom’s activities in the field of energy “

French Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg, writing on behalf of President François Hollande,  in the Wall Street Journal’s story France Wants GE to Alter Terms for Alstom Unit

Lead Stories

France says GE offer for Alstom not good enough
Associated Press 
French President François Hollande says that an offer by General Electric Co. for troubled French engineering company Alstom is not good enough and wants the U.S. company to come up with a better deal.

France Wants GE to Alter Terms for Alstom Unit
Ted Mann and Inti Landauro, The Wall Street Journal 
The French government urged General Electric Co. to alter the terms of its proposed $17 billion takeover of Alstom ‘s energy assets, saying it would reject a deal that allowed GE to completely absorb the businesses.

Week ahead: Senate to vote on energy efficiency bill 
Timothy Cama, The Hill 
The Senate will vote next week on an energy efficiency bill sponsored by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) that could also include a provision to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.

Podesta tells GOP to tread carefully on energy
Laura Barron-Lopez and Timothy Cama, The Hill
Be careful what you wish for: White House adviser John Podesta warned that President Obama may veto an energy efficiency bill set to hit the Senate floor Tuesday if it is approved with “unacceptable riders.”

Oil lobby goes for broke on Keystone vote
Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill
The American Petroleum Institute is “pulling out all the stops” in a new ad campaign that presses Senate Democrats to vote for approval of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Final fed climate report will present dire picture
Associated Press
The Obama administration is more certain than ever that global warming is changing Americans’ daily lives and will worsen — conclusions that scientists will detail in a massive federal report to be released Tuesday.

Ukraine crisis hardens Brussels stance on Gazprom pipeline
Christian Oliver, The Financial Times 
The EU’s energy chief warned Moscow on Monday that the Ukraine crisis was hardening Brussels’ stance on a gas pipeline that Russia’s Gazprom is planning to build in southeast Europe.
***LB: also in this story “Next month, construction is due to begin on the South Stream pipeline, which would run from the Black Sea to Austria. Gazprom has long sought to challenge EU competition rules to make the project more commercially appealing.”

Beijing Steps Up Campaign Against Pollution
Edward Wong, The New York Times
The Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau announced Monday that it had imposed fines of more than $1.7 million against companies and business ventures that violated air pollution standards in the first four months of 2014.

UK energy too cheap, says study 
Terry Macalister, The Guardian 
The government must urgently establish a strategic authority to oversee the future growth of Britain’s ageing energy infrastructure, a study argues on Tuesday. 
***LB: also in this story “Academics at Newcastle University challenge the government’s market-based approach, saying the £100bn needed to secure energy security is not being delivered by a fragmented system that lacks central direction.”

How and Why U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Are Falling
Mike Orcutt, MIT Technology Review 
Greenhouse gas emissions in the United States fell to their lowest level in 17 years in 2012, according to a new report from the Environmental Protection Agency. Additional data from the U.S. government show why: the trend is largely the result of a rapid drop in coal-fired electricity, and a corresponding rise in electricity generated by cleaner fuels, especially natural gas.


Minnesota’s Marquee Solar Event
The Midwest Solar Expo is bringing together solar leaders from across the Midwest to advance dialogue on key issues, provide insight on the latest industry trends and best practices, and serve as a nexus between the solar industry and the public.
May 16, 2014
Minneapolis, Minnesota   


Feds: No plans to regulate agricultural methane emissions 
Timothy Cama, The Hill
Three cabinet-level officials are assuring Republican senators that the Obama administration has no plans to regulate methane emissions from the agricultural sector or livestock.

India Drafts Policy to Cut Carbon Emissions from Deforestation 
India, one of the world’s largest polluters, has drafted a national policy aimed at reducing its carbon emissions from deforestation as part of a global scheme which financially rewards developing nations for carbon stored through forest preservation. 
***LB: also in this story “India has the tenth largest forest coverage in the world. It is also the world’s fifth largest carbon emitter, accounting for 5 percent of global greenhouse gases, according to the Indian government.”

Acre and Goliath: One Brazilian State Struggles To End Deforestation 
Kelley Hamrick, Ecosystem Marketplace 
Located in the heart of the Amazon, Acre, Brazil contains just over 15 million hectares of land, most of which the state has managed to keep intact.

Natural Gas / Coal

Rahall touts pro-coal, anti-EPA votes in ad
Timothy Cama, The Hill
Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) is using his latest reelection campaign advertisement to tout his record supporting the coal industry and to criticize outside spending against him.

Mining industry files lawsuit against coal dust rule
Timothy Cama, The Hill
The National Mining Association (NMA) is asking an appeals court to weigh in on the Mine Safety and Health Administration’s (MSHA) new limit on miners’ coal dust exposure.

EEX To Relaunch Its Coal Market
In May, the European Energy Exchange (EEX) will start an initiative to relaunch its coal market. The initiative will focus on Trade Registration which means the registration of OTC trades for clearing. EEX has attracted several well-known brokers that support the Trade Registration offer. As of 21 May 2014, GFI Securities Limited, Spectron Energy Services Ltd. part of Marex Spectron Group, Tradition Dubai Limited and Tullett Prebon (Europe) will offer the EEX coal products on their platforms.


Fitch Rates State Grid Corporation of China’s USD Bonds Final ‘A+’ 
Reuters ( Statement by the rating agency) 
Fitch Ratings has assigned State Grid Overseas Investment (2014) Limited’s USD1,250m 2.750% guaranteed senior notes due 2019, USD1,600m 4.125% guaranteed senior notes due 2024 and USD650m 4.850% guaranteed senior notes due 2044 final ratings of ‘A+’.

Solar power breakthrough hints at cheaper panels for more roofs
Pete Spotts, The Christian Science Monitor
Efforts to bring a new class of solar cells to market may have received a significant boost from a new recipe for making the cells, developed independently by two teams of scientists.

10 clean power insights from the Utah ‘Energy Excursion’
Kathrin Winkler, (blog) 
I’ve just completed a two-day “Energy Excursion” sponsored by the Salt Lake City Chamber of Commerce. And I never have encountered more auspicious signs for a carbon-reduced energy future.

Clean Tech

Electric car sales remain off the grid
Henry Foy, The Financial Times
Tax breaks and handouts are failing to convince car drivers to choose electric batteries over combustion engines, as sales of the low-emission vehicles lag behind expectations in major markets. 
***LB: Also in this story “Electric cars have cost carmakers billions of research dollars and been touted as the long-term sustainable replacement for oil-powered vehicles. But except in unique cases such as Norway, they make up less than 1 per cent of sales in developed car markets.”


East Antarctica more at risk than thought to long-term thaw: study
Alister Doyle, Reuters
Part of East Antarctica is more vulnerable than expected to a thaw that could trigger an unstoppable slide of ice into the ocean and raise world sea levels for thousands of years, a study showed.  
***LB: also in this story “The Wilkes Basin in East Antarctica, stretching more than 1,000 km (600 miles) inland, has enough ice to raise sea levels by 3 to 4 meters (10-13 feet) if it were to melt as an effect of global warming, the report said.”


ICE Reports April Volume
IntercontinentalExchange Group, the leading global network of exchanges and clearing houses, today reported exchange traded volumes for April 2014. ICE’s April average daily volume (ADV) was 5.9 million contracts, a decrease of 13% compared to April 2013.

Kochs decline Steyer’s invitation to debate climate change, Keystone XL
Timothy Cama, The Hill
The billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch have turned down an invitation from environmentalist and fellow billionaire Tom Steyer to debate climate change and the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

House plans hearing on alleged EPA investigation obstruction
Timothy Cama, The Hill
The House Oversight Committee has scheduled a hearing this week on allegations that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has obstructed some of its Office of Inspector General’s investigations.

Colorado faces oil boom “death sentence” for soil, eyes microbe fix
Bruce Finley, The Denver Post 
Colorado’s intensifying oil and gas boom is taking a toll on soil — 200 gallons spilled per day seeping into once-fertile ground — that experts say could be ruinous.

Schapiro and Bloomberg Take Helm at Sustainability Accounting Standards Board   
Daniel Brooksbank, Bloomberg 
Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Schapiro have been appointed chair and vice chair respectively of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), the not-for-profit body which promotes sustainability standards for US listed companies.


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