In this edition, carbon solutions meet science in many of today’s lead stories, including Pulling Carbon Dioxide Out of Thin Air from The New York Times and Business Green’s Scientists urge immediate climate action to limit costs. Also in focus, fracking. Featured coverage hails from Reuters’ Nebraska environment report favors revised Keystone XL pipe plan and an op-ed piece in The Wall Street Journal, New York’s Fracking Phobia.


Quote of the Day:

“I see direct air capture as the long-term way of dealing with all those emissions that can’t be dealt with in any other way.”

–Columbia professor Klaus S. Lackner in The New York Times’ “Pulling Carbon Dioxide Out of Thin Air”

Lead Stories

Pulling Carbon Dioxide Out of Thin Air
The New York Times
WHETHER streaming from the tailpipes of cars or the smokestacks of so many power plants and factories, carbon dioxide emissions keep growing around the globe.
**RKB — Featured here is a Canadian company that has developed a cleansing technology that may one day capture and remove heat-trapping gas directly from the sky, then sell it for industrial use.

Why businesses shouldn’t let carbon fraud halt U.S. cap and trade
At first glance, all the news about fraud and fraud investigations in the EU carbon market might seem to give companies a good reason to oppose carbon trading. Last month’s Deutsche Bank raids and arrests — part of European carbon-trading-fraud investigations — came after six men already had been convicted of carbon-trading tax evasion through Deutsche Bank in 2011. In June, three others were jailed for carbon fraud in the United Kingdom. This recent spate caps a flurry of anti-carbon-fraud activity in 2009 and 2010, when European law enforcement raided hundreds of offices and arrested more than 100 suspected fraudsters. And the accusations and investigations continue.
**RKB – Blog contributor is Lawerence Goldenhersh, president and CEO of Enviance, a a global provider of environmental enterprise resource planning (EERP) solutions that measure, manage, report and reduce environmental and regulatory risks.

Scientists urge immediate climate action to limit costs
Business Green
Waiting to tackle emissions until 2020 when a global agreement is due to be in place will be far more costly than taking action today, according to new research published this week.

Opinion: The Kyoto Scorecard
The Wall Street Journal
The Kyoto Protocol on climate change used to be a big deal. So big that the future of humanity was said to hinge on its implementation. Did you know it expired on New Year’s Day? We’re guessing you didn’t, but don’t worry. It’s no big deal.

Iceland Taps Norway, U.K. Expertise for Nascent Oil Sector
The Wall Street Journal
-Iceland took its first steps toward oil and natural gas production, granting permission to Norwegian and U.K. companies to explore its northeast coastal waters.

U.S. coal-fired power plant retirements top 9,000 MW in 2012
More than 9,000 megawatts of coal-fired generation retired in the United States in 2012 as stricter federal pollution standards move closer to reality and cheaper natural gas makes coal plants less attractive economically.

Nebraska environment report favors revised Keystone XL pipe plan
The controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline received a boost on Friday when Nebraska regulators said its proposed new route would avoid many of the ecologically-sensitive areas that led the U.S. government to block it last year.

Opinion: New York’s Fracking Phobia
The Wall Street Journal
Most Americans by now know about the natural gas revolution and its potential. It’s become possible through a process called hydraulic fracturing, whereby water and chemicals are used to force previously unrecoverable deposits from shale rock. The technology is bringing new wealth to workers in many states. Except New York. Governor Andrew Cuomo seems content to let the people in the depressed counties of upstate New York watch the rest of the country benefit from fracking.

Matt Damon’s ‘Promised Land’ fuels a real-world battle over ‘fracking’
The Hill’s E2 Wire
The new Matt Damon film “Promised Land” is giving voice to critics of natural gas production, but the film faces opposition too as “fracking” goes Hollywood. The movie arrives in the middle of political and regulatory battles over fracking, the controversial oil-and-gas development method that’s enabling a U.S. production boom.

Methane leaks cast doubt on shale gas climate credentials
Business Green
US scientists have once again warned large amounts of methane could be leaking from new onshore gas drilling projects, challenging claims the fuel can offer a lower emissions alternative to coal.


Aviation Carbon 2013
February 19-20, 2012

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


U.K. Urged to Curb CO2 Concessions for Biggest Energy Users
A 250 million-pound ($404 million) U.K. government program that helps heavy energy users shoulder the cost of cutting carbon emissions must be tightened to avoid overcompensating polluters, a panel of lawmakers said.

MPs warn carbon pricing compensation for industry needs strong safeguards
Business Green
The Environmental Audit Committee of MPs will today call on the government to revisit its plans to hand £250m of compensation to energy intensive companies to help them cope with the introduction of the UK’s new carbon floor price, in order to ensure it does not result in windfall profits for some large industrial firms.

Natural Gas/Coal

Turkey to talk to Qatar about LNG plant as demand booms
Turkey will discuss building a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal with Qatar on its Aegean coast to help meet rising domestic needs and as Turkey’s role as an energy supplier to Europe grows, Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said on Saturday.

U.S. evaluates pollution, jobs at coal plant near Grand Canyon
A federal working group will address concerns about air pollution and jobs at the largest coal-fired power plant in the western United States, the Navajo Generating Station on an Indian reservation near the Grand Canyon, three U.S. agencies said on Friday.

U.S. senators seek probe into royalties on coal exports
Two influential U.S. senators have asked the Interior Department to examine whether coal companies are dodging hundreds of millions of dollars in royalty payments on lucrative sales to Asia, citing a Reuters investigation into the matter.


China Windpower Sees ‘Significant’ Profit Drop on Sales, Output
China Windpower Group Ltd. (182) expects to post a “significant drop” in 2012 profit on waning growth in sales of stakes in projects and income from electricity output.

German solar power installations at record high in 2012
New solar power installations in Germany hit a record high last year but tapered off in the fourth quarter as subsidies were cut to curb costs to consumers, Environment Ministry data showed on Saturday.

Dems dig in against spending cuts to clean energy programs
The Hill’s E2 Wire
Democrats are digging in against cuts to clean energy research as lawmakers again face a deadline to replace billions of dollars in spending reductions from sequestration.


Agbar Plans Water Equipment Plant in Brazil by 2015, Valor Says
Sociedad General de Aguas de Barcelona SA, a Spanish water supplier, may start producing technology in Brazil that treats sewage and cuts water losses within two years, Valor Economico SA reported, citing Jonas de Miguel, director-general of the company’s Aqualogy unit.

Mechel Completes Wastewater Plant Expansion, Ural Press Reports
Chelyabinsk Metallurgical Plant (CHMK), a unit of Russia’s biggest producer of steelmaking coal, OAO Mechel (MTLR), completed an expansion of its wastewater biochemical treatment facility last month, Ural-Press-Inform reported, citing unit spokeswoman Yekaterina Doldina.


Grid Problems Curb India’s Electric-Vehicle Appetite
The New York Times
In early 2012, after years of experimentation, an Indian start-up called Ampere developed an electric motorcycle that people would actually buy.

An Antidote for Climate Contrarianism
The New York Times
I would guess a few Green readers had the experience, over the holidays, of arguing yet again about global warming with a parent or brother-in-law who thinks it’s all a big hoax. Maybe there’s some undiscovered substance in roast turkey that makes people want to pick fights around the dinner table.
**RKB — MIT’s Kerry Emanuel updates his “What We Know About Climate Change”


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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