In this edition, former president Jimmy Carter enters the fray on Keystone, suggesting president Barack Obama to think twice about it, while oil-rich Alberta is considering raising its carbon levy on heavy industry to spread the pain.
Quote of the day
“You stand on the brink of making a choice that will define your legacy on one of the greatest challenges humanity has ever faced – climate change.”
Former president Jimmy Carter, in the Washington Post’s story Jimmy Carter comes out against Keystone XL pipeline
Alberta Mulls Higher CO2 Price to Win Support for Oil Sector
Jeremy van Loon, Bloomberg Businesswek
Alberta is still considering raising its price on carbon when it revamps its climate-change policy to win support for its oil sector, the fastest-growing source of global warming in the country.
***LB: Also in this story “Alberta currently requires companies that emit more than 100,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases a year to cut emissions per barrel by 12 percent or pay a penalty of C$15 per ton.”
Jimmy Carter comes out against Keystone XL pipeline
Juliet Eilperin, The Washington Post
Former president Jimmy Carter has joined a group of Nobel laureates who oppose construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, warning President Obama and Secretary of State John F. Kerry, “You stand on the brink of making a choice that will define your legacy on one of the greatest challenges humanity has ever faced – climate change.”
Forcing Russia Out of Markets Seen as Ukraine Leverage
Kasia Klimasinska, Bloomberg
Forcing Russia out of global financial markets is the strongest tool at U.S. President Barack Obama’s disposal if he wants to stop Vladimir Putin’s territorial ambitions, according to former government officials and sanctions specialists.
***LB: Also in this story “The U.S. Treasury Department has powers to freeze Russia’s access to bank loans, credit cards, clearing and settlements of transactions.”
Beijing’s bid to move polluting firms watched warily in nearby regions
David Stanway, Reuters
China’s capital has ordered more than 50 companies to shut down this year in an effort to cut pollution but pushing factories out could raise objections in surrounding areas reluctant to host Beijing’s polluters.
TripZero: A lean startup tries to ‘green’ the travel industry
Marc Gunther, theguardian.com
About seven years ago, a publishing executive named Eric Zimmerman heard a speech by Eric Corry Freed, the author of a book called Green Building & Remodeling for Dummies.
Merkel Ally Sees German Big Energy in Last Stand for Dominance
Leon Mangasarian and Stefan Nicola, Bloomberg
Germany’s biggest utilities face dwindling market shares as the shift to renewable energy spurs regional power generation and storage technology, a senior member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party said.
Feds to provide $4B in green energy support
Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill
The Energy Department is opening up $4 billion in federal loan guarantees to projects that reduce or capture greenhouse gas emissions.
CO2, climate and the case for wooden skyscrapers
Nathanael Massey, E&E reporter
It’s been nearly a century and a half since steel replaced wood as the primary material of ships, bridges and other large infrastructures manufactured by the developed world.
Measuring Africa’s Air Pollution
Kate Galbraith, The New York Times
When Jenny Linden, an air quality scientist, tried to measure the pollution in Burkina Faso’s capital city, one of her instruments clogged up. It was designed for road dust in Arizona, but the dust in Ouagadougou far exceeded the machine’s limit, and it had to be sent to the United States for repair.
***LB: Also in this story “Last month the W.H.O. estimated that one in eight deaths worldwide resulted from air pollution. The organization found that air pollution in African homes contributed to nearly 600,000 deaths in 2012.”
Energy giants launch ad blitz to stop Colorado fracking rules
By Timothy Cama, The Hill
Oil and natural gas giants Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and Noble Energy Inc. have launched an advertising blitz to stop state measures aimed at curbing hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
***LB : Also in this story “The companies, along with their group Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development, spent $1 million on television ads in the fourth quarter of 2013, Bloomberg News reported.”
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UK carbon capture scheme wins 300m euros from EU
Guy Chazan, The Financial Times
The biomass storage plant at the Drax power station near Selby, North Yorkshire
Brussels is to grant 300m euros to a pioneering carbon capture and storage project in the UK.
***LB: Also in this story “White Rose will be a new coal-fired power station providing electricity to more than 630,000 homes. About 90 per cent of the CO2 it emits will be captured and injected beneath the North Sea.”
Partners in Israel’s Leviathan field bid to sell gas to Cyprus
The partners developing Israel’s offshore Leviathan natural gas field are looking to sell gas through a pipeline to Cyprus, officials said on Thursday.
EDF cuts ribbon on Teeside offshore wind farm and Nottinghamshire gas plant
EDF yesterday cut the ribbon on two major new infrastructure projects, inaugurating Teesside Offshore Wind Farm and West Burton Combined Cycle Gas Turbine Power Station.
Oil, gas production drops on federal property
Timothy Cama, The Hill
Crude oil and natural gas production has fallen on leased federal land and water during President Obama’s time in office, according to a Congressional Research Service (CRS) report.
A pipeline built years ago may start to export Rocky Mountain gas to Asia
Jonathan Thompson, The Goat Blog, High Country News
In the summer of 2010, construction began on the Ruby Pipeline, a 680-mile interstate artery for carrying as much as 1.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day from the Opal Hub in southwestern Wyoming to the Malin Hub in southern Oregon.
Hunt commits to ‘cleaner’ coal, as renewables despair deepens
Giles Parkinson, REneweconomy
Australian environment minister Greg Hunt, the man most likely to be sympathetic to renewable energy in the current conservative Coalition government, has effectively thrown his lot in with the coal industry.
NextEnergy raises £86m for solar projects
Michael Kavanagh, The Financial Times
NextEnergy Solar Fund is to acquire eight UK solar projects after raising £86m in a London IPO. The amount raised is less than the £150m originally targeted by the fund, which has limited itself to acquiring existing UK solar power assets whose revenue streams have been backed by subsidy schemes designed to meet the country’s renewable energy targets.
In green car race, Toyota adds muscle with fuel-cell launch
Norihiko Shirouzu, Paul Lienert and Yoko Kubota, Reuters
In 1997, Toyota caught its competitors by surprise with the revolutionary Prius, the first commercially successful gasoline-electric hybrid car.
***LB: Also in this story “Their only emission, bar heat, is water vapor, they can run five times longer than battery electric cars, and it takes just minutes to fill the tank with hydrogen – far quicker than even the most rapid charger can recharge a battery electric car.”
Nissan reports soaring fleet sales for all-electric Leaf
James Murray, BusinessGreen
Hopes that electric vehicles will appeal to corporate fleet managers who are looking to cut costs and carbon emissions could prove to be well founded, after Nissan reported soaring fleet sales for its all-electric Leaf.
***LB: Also in this story “In particular, Nissan is expecting solid demand for the new e-NV200 electric van following comprehensive trials with a host of blue chip customers, including FedEx, Coca-Cola, DHL, IKEA, British Gas and the Japan Post Office.”
European Parliament votes to slash plastic bag waste
Jessica Shankleman, BusinessGreen
Plans to cut plastic bag use by 80 per cent across the European Union have taken a major step forward, after the European Parliament gave the green light to a new package of regulations designed to slash plastic bag waste.