Today’s edition is mostly political, with a presidential veto on Keystone in the offing, House Republicans unveiling a policy framework for energy legislation, profiles of the would-be 2016 Republican contenders and their views on climate and climate-conscious Hispanics. Also, news on US factories, polluting less and EU energy consumption, dropping to 1990 levels.
Quote of the day
“There’s a stereotype that Latinos are not aware of or concerned about these issues. But Latinos are actually among the most concerned about the environment, particularly global warming.”
Gabriel Sanchez, an associate professor of political science at the University of New Mexico and director of research at Latino Decisions, a survey firm focused on the Hispanic population, in the New York Times’ story Climate Is Big Issue for Hispanics, and Personal
Obama prepares for divisive veto
By Laura Barron-Lopez -The Hill
President Obama is just days away from issuing the biggest veto of his tenure, with Republicans poised to send him legislation that would authorize construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.
***LB: Also in this story “Obama’s veto — just the third of his presidency and the first since 2010 — is expected to come with little fanfare, with even opponents of the pipeline arguing the White House should avoid further angering Democrats and unions who want Keystone to be built.”
House GOP outlines energy plan
By Timothy Cama – The Hill
House Republicans Monday unveiled a four-part policy framework to guide them in writing comprehensive energy legislation.
***LB: Also in this story “The policies include making it easier to build infrastructure like pipelines, better training a workforce for energy jobs and improving accountability in regulatory agencies, said House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and energy and power subcommittee chairman Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.)”
For GOP Presidential Candidates, a Slightly Changing Climate
By Ben Geman – National Journal
The 2012 Republican presidential field was largely made up of climate skeptics. As the 2016 field shapes up, that’s still the case.
***LB: Also in this story “Many of the would-be 2016 contenders will acknowledge that the climate is changing but publicly question the extent to which man-made greenhouse-gas emissions are responsible—if at all.”
Short-term fixes for long-term climate problems? Not so fast, experts say.
By Joel Achenbach – The Washington Post
Here’s a word guaranteed to start an argument among scientists and environmental activists: geo-engineering.
***LB: Also in this story “For example, tiny particles of sulfur dioxide could be sprayed into the upper atmosphere.”
US factories are polluting way less — but it’s not because of offshoring
By Brad Plumer – Vox
Here’s an environmental story not many people know about. Between 1990 and 2008, US manufacturing output grew by one-third. Yet air pollution from US factories fell by about two-thirds.
EU energy consumption drops to 1990 levels
By Will Nichols – BusinessGreen
EU energy use is now down to levels last seen in the early 1990s having fallen more than nine per cent from its peak in 2006.
Divestment Day Aims to Strengthen Global Reach of Fossil-Free Movement
By Elizabeth Douglass – InsideClimate News
The fast-growing fossil fuel divestment movement is marshaling forces for this week’s Global Divestment Day—an event organizers hope will strengthen the crusade’s reach around the world and prove that it’s “a force to be reckoned with.
Study Claims Oil Divestiture May Hurt College Endowments
By John Schwartz – The New York Times
Universities that decide to shed their investments in fossil fuel stocks could hurt the value of their endowments, according to a new report.
***LB: Also in this story “Adding in transaction costs and reduced diversification, “the costs to investors of fossil fuel divestiture are highly likely and substantial, while the potential benefits — to the extent there are any — are ill-defined and uncertain at best,” wrote the lead author of the study, Daniel R. Fischel, who is president and chairman of an economic consulting company, Compass Lexecon.”
Climate Is Big Issue for Hispanics, and Personal
By Coral Davenport – The New York Times
Alfredo Padilla grew up in Texas as a migrant farmworker who followed the harvest with his parents to pick sugar beets in Minnesota each summer.
***LB: Also in this story “The survey, in which Mr. Padilla was a respondent, found that Hispanics are more likely than non-Hispanic whites to view global warming as a problem that affects them personally.”
2015 Climate Leadership Conference
ACCO, EPA, The Climate Registry, C2ES
February 23-25, 2015
Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City (Arlington, VA)
Navigating the American Carbon World (NACW) 2015
North America’s premier conference on climate policy and carbon markets
Presented by the Climate Action Reserve
April 28-30, 2015
Los Angeles, California
Loss of posidonia reduces CO2 storage areas and could contribute to gas emissions
The loss of underwater posidonia meadows poses two problems: these areas can no longer capture and store atmospheric CO2, and, moreover, they can become a source of this gas by eroding and freeing the carbon stored in the meadow during decades or even centuries.
Unions Turn On Coal, Demand Higher Royalties
By Michael Bastasch – Daily Caller
Unions are targeting the coal industry and joining a prominent liberal think tank in calling for the federal government to force coal companies to pay more royalties for minerals extracted on federal lands.
From bad to worse for US coal companies
By Theo Spencer – Climate Spectator
The No.2 US coal company, Arch, announced last week it lost over $500 million last year.
The U.S. Power Grid is in Need of a Technology Upgrade
By Melissa C. Lott – Scientific American
The ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit kicks off today in Washington DC and will highlight technologies that could fundamentally alter how the nation generates, uses, and stores electricity.
***LB: Also in this story “In the face of a booming solar industry, stagnating residential demand, and federal policy that seems to choke off a future for new coal power plants, these technologies could answer the question of how today’s utilities can successfully adapt.”
Minority groups back energy companies in fight against solar power
By Evan Halper – Los Angeles Times
When Florida officials pulled the plug on a significant incentive for rooftop solar systems, the move came at the urging of big power companies with a heavy reliance on fossil fuels — and of the state chapter of the NAACP.
Rise in wildfires may resurrect Chernobyl’s radiation
By Debora MacKenzie – New Scientist
Fallout from the world’s worst nuclear accident just won’t go away. Radioactive clouds may once again spread over Europe, as rising fires release radiation locked up in the upper layers of soil in the dense forests near Chernobyl in Ukraine and Belarus.
Straw eco homes spark rush of interest from prospective buyers
By Jessica Shankleman – BusinessGreen
Estate agents say they expect seven new eco houses made from straw to be “snapped up” when they go on the market in Bristol later this month.