JLN E/E is back from our holiday break with an edition that features the impact from the tax extension on the wind industry, including The Wall Street Journal’s Renewable-Energy Tax Breaks Pass Despite Headwind. And, on the carbon markets, Carbon Trading on 2013 Energy-Law Agenda, also from The WSJ. The Montreal Gazette reports
Environmental cap-and-trade regulations in force.

Quote of the Day:

“Until now, in the U.S., a carbon law has been hypothetical, theoretical. California has an opportunity to show that this works in practice. It can work as a lab for the rest of the country.”

–Nathaniel Keohane, an economist with the Environmental Defense Fund, who served as Obama’s special assistant for energy and environment on the National Economic Council, in National Journal’s “California’s New Cap-and-Trade Law: A Model for the Country?”

Lead Stories

Carbon Trading on 2013 Energy-Law Agenda
Wall Street Journal
In Monday’s Wall Street Journal, we wrote about the big greenhouse-gas debate coming up in 2013 over Environmental Protection Agency plans to restrict emissions from coal-fired power plants.
**RKB — Blog entry shows shift among EPA counsel that’s similar to political shift on carbon trading.

Environmental cap-and-trade regulations in force
Montreal Gazette
On Tuesday, Jan. 1, Quebec and California became the first jurisdictions in North America to enforce compulsory cap-and-trade regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
**RKB — Everyone’s watching. Linkage between the two slated for Q2 or Q3 say exchange officials.

California starts new carbon emissions cutting programme
A new system for cutting carbon emissions starts in California on new year’s day 2013. Hundreds of the biggest polluters will be forced to reduce their emissions every year or buy expensive carbon credits, as California aims to reduce its emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

California’s New Cap-and-Trade Law: A Model for the Country?
National Journal
If you thought cap-and-trade was dead and buried, think again. It’s true that in Washington, the controversial proposal to fight climate change was squelched after a sweeping 2010 bill crashed in Congress and an aggressive media campaign by the fossil-fuel industry made the phrase “cap-and-trade” political poison. But on Jan. 1, California—the largest economy in the nation and the eighth-largest in the world—will start enforcing a robust cap-and-trade law that’s the first of its kind in the United States.

Cost of combating climate change surges as world delays -study
An agreement by almost 200 nations to curb rising greenhouse gas emissions from 2020 will be far more costly than taking action now to tackle climate change, according to research published on Wednesday.

After Jackson, EPA faces decisions on US fracking boom
The past four years of U.S. environmental regulation was marked by a crackdown on emissions that angered coal miners and power companies. Over the next four, the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency will have to decide whether to take on an even larger industry: Big Oil.

Jackson to step down as Obama’s environmental chief
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency chief Lisa Jackson, who spearheaded the Obama administration’s crackdown on carbon emissions, said on Thursday she will step down after almost four years of battles with Republican lawmakers and industry over proposed regulations.

Factbox: EPA chief Lisa Jackson sought to tighten pollution rules
As President Barack Obama’s nominee to head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Lisa Jackson vowed that the United States would enter a “new world of carbon dioxide control” with planned regulations for power plants, industrial facilities, refiners and vehicles.

New Power-Plant Air Rules Fall to Next Leader at EPA
The Wall Street Journal
The next head of the Environmental Protection Agency is likely to hand down rules tackling the largest source of greenhouse-gas emissions in the U.S.: power plants.

U.S. Tax-Credit Extension May Boost Stalled Wind Industry
The one-year extension of a U.S. tax credit for wind energy revises the policy in ways that may revive an industry that’s expected to slump 59 percent this year.
**RKB – More coverage on tax deal in RECs section.

Oil Boom Spurs New Investment
The Wall Street Journal
Surging energy production in North America is prompting billions of dollars of investment next year on pipelines and other infrastructure projects to move oil and gas around the continent.

China expands pollution monitoring to biggest cities
Chinese State Media/Reuters
China plans to release hourly air pollution monitoring data in 74 of its biggest cities starting on New Year’s Day, state media says.

Forests or Agriculture: Not Necessarily An All Or Nothing Trade-Off
Ecosystem Marketplace
Making informed decisions on how to reduce carbon emissions from forestry and agriculture requires some solid knowledge about potential tradeoffs between development and conservation objectives: what you manage to win through avoided deforestation or reduced cropping emissions has to be weighed against possible farm income losses when first-best farming strategies have to be sacrificed.


Aviation Carbon 2013
February 19-20, 2012

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


ICIS plots key dates for the carbon market in 2013
Press Release
With 2013 the year the carbon market kicks off for its third trading phase, ICIS outlines the key events to look out for in the next 12 months.

Environment Canada survey asked Canadians about carbon tax, oil exports
Toronto Star
Months before the Conservatives began their sustained campaign attacking the New Democrats over their proposed cap-and-trade policy, Environment Canada wanted to know how Canadians felt about a federal carbon tax.

Natural Gas/Coal

COLUMN-California’s new oil rush: John Kemp
California has some of the most stringent environmental regulations in the United States, so it might seem an unlikely place to welcome fracking. On Dec. 18, however, the state Department of Conservation published draft rules that could lead to widespread hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas.

COLUMN-Asian coal volumes may rise, price may not: Clyde Russell
Coal producers supplying Asia are likely to have a busy year, but that increase


Texas grid expansion nearly complete but wind growth lags
Texas, which leads the United States in carbon-free electric capacity from wind turbines, will see less wind added than industry leaders had envisioned when construction of $6 billion in power lines is completed next year.

Munich Re, GE, EDF Buy 321 Megawatts of Wind Farms in France
Munich Re joined with General Electric Co. (GE) and Electricite de France SA to buy 32 wind farms in France from Iberdrola SA (IBE) as part of its plan to invest 2.5 billion euros ($3.3 billion) in renewable-energy assets.

Buffett Utility Buys $2.5 Billion SunPower Solar Projects
Warren Buffett’s MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co. (BRK/A) agreed to spend as much as $2.5 billion to build two solar projects in California that are set to be the world’s largest photovoltaic development.

Abengoa Starts First South America Solar-Thermal Power Plant
Abengoa SA (ABG), the largest developer of solar-thermal power plants, completed a 10-megawatt project at an Antofagasta Plc (ANTO) copper mine in Chile’s Atacama Desert that will reduce the facility’s use of fossil fuels.

Paving a fast lane for desert solar
U-T San Diego
Hundreds of square miles of Southern California desert, both public and privately owned, could be targeted for renewable energy development under a comprehensive plan balancing state clean-power mandates with efforts to conserve wild habitat.

Renewables Roadmap reveals path to a greener energy mix
Business Green
The government last week published a long-awaited update to its official Renewable Energy Roadmap, detailing how it expects the clean energy sector to rapidly expand over the next eight years, while also announcing new loans for a series of high profile clean energy projects.


Fiscal fiasco bright spot: 2013 will be a huge year for wind                               
You have probably heard by now that Congress has voted through a bill that will avert the absurdly named “fiscal cliff.” I’ll leave it to other blogs to get into the details. (Suzy Khimm has a nice rundown.) I’ll also leave it to others to lament the absurd way in which this country is governed. I just want to focus on one bright spot that hasn’t gotten much coverage.

Renewable-Energy Tax Breaks Pass Despite Headwind
The Wall Street Journal
The fiscal-cliff deal approved in the Senate included a $12 billion extension of a wind-power tax credit and other support for renewable energy, sparking opposition from House Republicans who said it was an example of the kind of government spending they wanted to cut.

Renewable Energy Group Rises After Biofuel Credits Extended
Renewable Energy Group Inc. (REGI), the biggest U.S. biodiesel maker, rose the most in three months after Congress approved legislation extending a tax credit for the industry.

Incentives Watch: Renewable Energy Tax Credits Expected to Continue to Grow in 2013
Bloomberg BNA
The New Year brings a fresh start to us all. In particular, the wind industry is having a really good year so far, as the production tax credit was extended for all wind energy projects starting construction in 2013, notes an American Wind Energy Association press release.

Demand for Clean-Energy Credits in India Doubled in December
Demand for Indian renewable-energy credits more than doubled in December from the previous month with volumes rising to the second-highest level this year.

Fiscal Cliff Deal Extends/Improves 12 Alt-Energy Credits
While most Americans were enjoying the holiday break, Congress was called in for a special session to try and work out a deal to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff.” A compromise was reached, a deal was passed, and while nobody is particularly happy with the “American Taxpayer Relief Act”, a number of green energy credits were extended for at least another year.


Clean tech ventures find a warm reception in China
For American cleantech companies, there’s just one country that matters most: China. After years of massive growth that took a heavy toll on the environment and natural resources, China now has an ambitious plan to tackle its energy needs by developing clean energy alternatives. Still, for so-called “cleantech” companies, accessing the market and setting up shop there is no easy task.


2012: The Year In Water And Wetlands
Ecosystem Marketplace
The year began with the creation of Watershed Connect, which Ecosystem Marketplace launched in March of 2012 to expand its scope of coverage on water issues. This interactive platform is designed to foster innovative solutions to the global water challenge.


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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