A lot of fighting in today’s edition. Not against climate change per se, however. Rather, it is one camp against another – ie: business against the Administration, as President Obama wants to cut carbon emissions, a move coal-fired power plants strongly resist, or a fight pitting Democrats against Democrats, on the same topic, or the U.S. against China, on the race to invest in the shale gas industry. Also in this edition, news coming out of Cologne (Germany), where the Carbon Expo is currently taking place, with figures on voluntary carbon offsetting and a call for global CO2 price. 


Quote of the day

“We can’t call on others to make commitments to combat climate change if so many of our political leaders deny that it is taking place”

President Barack Obama to West Point graduates, in The Hill’s story Obama: US can’t ‘exempt’ itself from global climate rules

Lead stories

China Seen Outspending U.S. Drillers to Chase Shale-Gas Boom
Benjamin Haas, Bloomberg Businessweek
China’s effort to catch up with the U.S. in developing shale gas and become more energy independent is coming at a big cost: It’s spending four times as much developing some fields, according to a new report.

Industry, policy makers call for global CO2 price 
Industry and policy makers have opened this year’s Carbon Expo conference in Cologne with calls for a global price on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, as the World Bank has described a more fragmented reality in its annual carbon pricing review.

World Bank Says Carbon Pricing Programs Proliferating In Wake Of Failed UN Talks
Steve Zwick, Ecosystem Marketplace 
Globally, eight new carbon markets emerged in 2013, and six new regional cap-and-trade regimes have emerged in China since 2011, with a seventh set to begin trading there this year. 
***LB: Also in this story “That makes China’s carbon market second only to the European Union’s, and is indicative of the way regional and sub-national governments are beginning to step up on climate change in ways that national governments and international efforts have failed to do, according to the World Bank’s “State and Trends of Carbon Pricing”.”

Corporate Buyers Stick with Voluntary Carbon Offsetting in Transitional Year 
Ecosystem Marketplace 
In a bid to reduce their contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions, corporate leaders like Chevrolet, Marks & Spencer, and Allianz continued to voluntarily purchase carbon offsets in 2013, locking 76 million metric tonnes of greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere, according to the annual State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets report, previewed by Forest Trends’ Ecosystem Marketplace this week in Cologne, Germany. 
***LB: Also in this story “Roughly 90% of 2013 purchases came from “repeat customers” – a testament to many companies’ ongoing loyalty to their offsetting commitments, but also a stark reminder of the challenge the market faces in attracting new voluntary offset buyers. Overall, global demand fell short of 2012 levels by 26.7 million tonnes and $144 million, and saw the average per-tonne price drop 16% to $4.9.”

Obama: US can’t ‘exempt’ itself from global climate rules
Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill
President Obama forcefully told West Point graduates Wednesday that the U.S. must lead on climate change, just days before the administration is expected to announce the cornerstone of his climate legacy.

A Pushback on Green Power
Diane Cardwell, The New York Times 
As renewable energy production has surged in recent years, opponents of government policies that have helped spur its growth have pushed to roll back those incentives and mandates in state after state. 
***LB: Also in this story “On Wednesday, they claimed their first victory, when Ohio lawmakers voted to freeze the phasing-in of power that utilities must buy from renewable energy sources.”

President Said to Be Planning to Use Executive Authority on Carbon Rule 
Coral Davenport, The New York Times 
President Obama will use his executive authority to cut carbon emissions from the nation’s coal-fired power plants by up to 20 percent, according to people familiar with his plans, and will force industry to pay for the pollution it creates through cap-and-trade programs across the country.

Wonks Collide as Obama Climate Plan Prompts New Ideas
Mark Drajem, Bloomberg
Great River Energy has a lot to lose from the Obama administration’s limits on greenhouse-gas emissions from power plants.

Obama Seeks Climate Legacy as Coal-State Democrats Cringe
Lisa Lerer, Bloomberg
When President Barack Obama reviewed his aides’s ideas for tackling climate change last year, he gave one simple directive: “Don’t skinny it down.”

Climate war begins
Laura Barron-Lopez and Timothy Cama, The Hill
Chaos is a ladder: The flurry of harsh rhetoric, and lambasting began Wednesday between industry and the administration over President Obama’s coming climate regulation on existing power plants.

US carbon emissions rising again after five year decline
Jessica Shankleman, BusinessGreen 
As US power stations prepare for the introduction of tough new greenhouse gas emissions standards, new government figures have revealed nationwide carbon emissions rose last year for the first time since 2007. 
***LB: Also in this story “According to data published yesterday by the US Energy Information Administration, carbon emissions from the energy sector increased 2.4 per cent in 2013 as coal made a modest comeback following several years during which it had been squeezed by a glut of shale gas supplies and increased renewable energy capacity.”

EPA grows its climate change trends list
Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill
The Environmental Protection Agency added four new trends to its growing list of indicators this year that signal climate change is happening now.

Feds ramp up energy, climate data programs
Timothy Cama, The Hill
The Obama administration Wednesday added new pieces to its data initiatives designed to conserve energy and fight climate change, and announced new efforts from the private sector that help the data programs.

White House adviser: Chamber ‘wrong again’ on climate rule
Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill
White House adviser John Podesta slammed a U.S. Chamber of Commerce report Wednesday that claimed the administration’s coming climate rule on power plants would cost more than $50 billion per year.

House lawmakers to EPA: We handle climate policy, not you
Laura Barron-Lopez, the Hill
Texas lawmakers say the Environmental Protection Agency is moving ahead with climate change regulations that it doesn’t have the authority to implement. 
***LB: Also in this story “In a letter to EPA chief Gina McCarthy, 29 members of Texas’s delegation say the administration doesn’t have the right to move forward with rules limiting carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants.”

Trade Unions launch global climate action campaign
James Murray, BusinessGreen 
Trade unions representing workers around the world have become the latest group to throw their weight behind calls for an ambitious international climate treaty to be agreed at next year’s UN-backed Paris Summit, with the launch of the new Unions4Climate campaign.

Mexico Congress to begin final push on energy reform this week
Mexican congressional committees will start putting the final touches this week on legislation needed to implement a major overhaul of the country’s energy sector, as President Enrique Pena Nieto seeks to put the centerpiece of his economic reform drive in place.

Putin hopeful Ukraine will pay gas bill
Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill
Russian President Vladimir Putin said he is hopeful the ongoing natural gas dispute with Ukraine will be resolved.

General Electric: Bidding War With Siemens In The Making? 
Seeking Alpha
So far, General Electric’s shareholders are not too excited about the $16.9 billion deal to take over Alstom’s Thermal Power, Renewable Power and Grid businesses.


EMA’s 18th Annual Meeting 
Join the Environmental Markets Association and environmental industry professional for two days of dynamic sessions, two nights of networking receptions, and countless opportunities to increase your business contacts. 
October 22 – 24, 2014
Santa Monica, CA


US emissions trading schemes poised for wider role
Ed Crooks, Financial Times 
One consequence of the Environmental Protection Agency’s new carbon dioxide rules may be a wider role for the fledgling US emissions trading schemes such as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which covers nine states in the northeast of the country.

Report: Power plants reducing emissions
Timothy Cama, The Hill
The country’s top 100 electricity producers have reduced emissions of major pollutants in recent years, showing that they could likely handle the new limits on carbon dioxide coming soon from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), according to a new report.

China’s Tianjin extends carbon compliance deadline
Kathy Chen and Stian Reklev, Reuters
Energy producers and industrial emitters covered by a carbon trading market in China’s Tianjin have been given an extra six weeks to comply with the scheme as many have yet to verify their 2013 emissions.

South Africa: Offsets to Cushion South African Carbon Tax
Brendon Bosworth, IPS
To curb greenhouse gas emissions, South Africa wants to put a tax on carbon emissions from big polluters.

Natural gas / coal 

Shale and non-Russian gas imports at heart of new EU energy strategy 
Fiona Harvey,
Europe will need to tap more diverse sources of gas and develop more supplies of controversial shale gas within the continent, amid concerns over the Ukraine crisis, according to a new energy security strategy unveiled by the European commission on Wednesday.

Coal demand falls globally – Adani, GVK to take a hit
Shuchi Srivastava, The Economic Times
Multi-billion dollar investment by Adani Power and GVK Power in Australian mines could hit a dead end and may force companies to consider distress sales as global coal prices and demand have fallen, analysts said although companies say their projects can withstand turbulence.

Coal India’s operating profit may beat estimates – StarMine
Reuters Market Eye
Coal India’s operating profit may beat consensus estimates when the miner reports January-March results later in the day, Thomson Reuters StarMine’s SmartEstimates shows.

J-Power sees mid-Aug partial restart for troubled coal-fired unit
J-Power (Electric Power Development Co) said on Thursday the troubled 1 gigawatt coal-fired No.2 unit at its Matsuura power plant is expected to restart around mid-August at a reduced capacity of 400 megawatts to help meet summer demand.

UN: Close coal mines on Svalbard
News in English. no (Norway)
Several countries have climate research stations based in and around Ny-Ålesund which lies at 79 degrees north.


TV, Web, Phone, Electricity? A New Threat to Utilities
Ehren Goossens, Mark Chediak and Jim Polson, Bloomberg
The corporate campus of Vivint Inc., among North America’s largest home-automation companies, rises up on the outskirts of Provo, Utah, a handsome sprawl of glass and gleaming white metal set against the snow-capped Wasatch Mountains.

American Electric May Decide Power Plant Sale This Year
Jim Polson, Bloomberg
American Electric Power Co., the biggest U.S. operator of coal-burning power stations, may decide later this year or early next whether it will follow Duke Energy Corp. by selling plants in the Midwest.

Energy Capital hires banks for sale or IPO of Equipower unit-WSJ
Private-equity firm Energy Capital Partners has hired banks to explore a sale or initial public offering of its power-generation unit Equipower Resources Corp, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

U.S. Solar Power Rises 79% as Home Panels Beat Warehouses
Ehren Goossens, Bloomberg
Homeowners and developers installed 1.33 gigawatts of solar panels in the first quarter, the second-largest total on record, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.

Cisco and Kansas City team up to launch smart city network
Kristine A. Wong, 
Kansas City, Missouri, is aiming to become the next stop for civic-minded entrepreneurs looking to pilot sustainable solutions via a smart city network.

Russia plans to build up to eight new nuclear reactors in Iran
Russia plans to sign a contract with Iran this year to build two more nuclear reactors at its Bushehr power plant as part of a broader deal for up to eight reactors in the Islamic state, a source close to the negotiations told Reuters on Thursday.

India Harvests Sun and Wind to Save Water and Power a Slowing Economy 
Keith Schneider, Circle of Blue
Hawa Mahal, the Palace of Winds, was constructed in 1799, here in the largest city in India’s largest state. Made of red and pink sandstone, and facing the street with an ornate honeycomb of open windows, the five-story building could have been named the Hawa Suraja Mahal, the Palace of Sun and Wind.


UN Water Treaty Surpasses Ratification Threshold
Circle of Blue
Earlier this month Vietnam became the 35th country to ratify a United Nations treaty on rivers that cross international boundaries.


Climate pact may depend on side deals by poor nations

P.J. Partington, The Pembina Institute for Sci Dev Net  
The interests of rich countries can seem to dominate climate change negotiations, but a study that models such talks as a ‘bargaining game’ shows that side deals among poorer nations could boost chances of an international agreement.

Really? ExxonMobil left the risk out of its climate risk report
Natasha Lamb and Bob Litterman,
Imagine cycling down a sweeping mountain road when you hit a dense patch of fog.

Why downloading from Netflix could be better for the planet than visiting HMV
Jessica Shankleman, BusinessGreen
The rapid rise of web streaming businesses such as Netflix and Lovefilm has allowed us to watch the latest movies or TV shows from the comfort of our own sofas, simply by lifting one finger, which in turn has led to a dramatic fall in DVD and CD sales across the globe.

Slideshow: Drought in the Southern U.S. Plains Today Recalls the 1930s Dust Bowl 
Circle of Blue
The series of dust storms that rolled through the southern Great Plains this winter and spring were as bad as any in living memory. The region’s rainfall deficit is worse now than during the peak of the Dust Bowl, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

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