In this edition, the editorial pages weigh in on Barack Obama’s “all-of-the-above energy strategy” touted in his State of the Union Address Tuesday. Plus, Global black carbon emissions double previous estimates, MIT and National University of Singapore researchers find. And, watch out ethanol industry. Butanol, the gasoline substitute promoted by billionaire Richard Branson, is headed for its debut at U.S. pumps as soon as next year in a challenge to ethanol’s domination of the $26 billion renewable fuels market.

Quote of the Day:

“With ethanol dominant as a gasoline additive, the U.S. fuel industry simply hasn’t had much reason for adoption of butanol. However, that may be starting to change now that ethanol is hitting a blend wall.”

–Pavel Molchanov, an analyst with Raymond James Financial Inc. in Bloomberg’s “Branson’s Butanol Heading to U.S. as Ethanol Substitute”

Lead Stories

Obama touts ‘responsible’ energy development measures, climate goals
President Barack Obama told lawmakers on Tuesday his energy strategy had boosted the economy and reduced carbon emissions, but he did not address the question of whether he will approve the politically charged Keystone XL oil pipeline.
**RKB — additional coverage of the SOTU.

Obama’s State of Disunion on Energy
Climate Spectator
In his State of the Union address on Tuesday, President Obama once again tried to reconcile the split personality of his energy policy.

COLUMN-America’s energy revolution transforms international relations: Kemp
North America’s energy revolution is remaking all aspects of the global economy and international relations in what has turned out to be the most profound shift in the second decade of the 21st century.

Editorial: A climate change of heart by the European Union
Los Angeles Times
Confronted by rising energy costs and international competition, the European Union’s executive body has recommended relaxing rules on renewable energy with a plan that doesn’t hold specific nations responsible for specific targets. The EU’s member states and Parliament should reject it. The EU has been the leader on fighting climate change; if it shies away from its commitment now, similar efforts in the U.S. and around the world will almost surely suffer.

Enlightened Power: New Eco Warriors Are Really Well Armed
Windmill-hugging Europeans announced a plan last week to get 27 percent of their energy from renewables by 2030. If they don’t watch out, they may soon be upstaged by an unlikely eco warrior: the U.S. military.

Global black carbon emissions double previous estimates
MIT News
Black carbon is one of the most potent air pollutants that contributes to global climate change, and is produced by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels and forest fires. While scientists have known about the role of black carbon for decades, there’s been limited research to calculate global emissions. Now, MIT and National University of Singapore (NUS) researchers have developed a new method to calculate global black carbon emissions.

Branson’s Butanol Heading to U.S. as Ethanol Substitute
Butanol, the gasoline substitute promoted by billionaire Richard Branson, is headed for its debut at U.S. pumps as soon as next year in a challenge to ethanol’s domination of the $26 billion renewable fuels market.


Climate Leadership Conference
Association of Climate Change Officers
February 24-26, 2014
San Diego, CA

The Microgrid, Distributed Energy, and Renewables: How They Work Together
February 25, 2014
New York

Round Table: California Clean Energy Markets and Policy Strategies
February 28, 2014
San Francisco,CA
Click here for more information and to register.

Navigating the American Carbon World (NACW) 2014
March 26-28, 2014
San Francisco, California

GLOBE 2014
13th Biennial Conference and Trade Fair on Business and Sustainability
March 26-28, 2014
Vancouver, British Columbia

Natural Gas/Coal/Alternative Fuels

Den Tandt: Anti-Keystone ad reveals Canada’s vulnerability to U.S. politics
Postmedia News
The airing of a jingoistic, misleading and devastating anti-oilpatch, anti-China, anti-Canada ad during Tuesday night’s State of the Union Address marks a turning point of sorts in the battle over the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. This is a fight that Canada may lose. The blame, should that occur, will rest squarely with Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Costs soar again at US carbon storage plant
Southern Co will take a $25 million charge in the 2013 fourth quarter as the cost for its coal-gasification power plant in Kemper County, Mississippi, climbs to more than $5 billion, the company said in a filing with regulators on Tuesday.

Norway halves coal exposure
Norway’s $US817 billion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, has halved its exposure to coal producers, with most of its remaining interest in the sector in Chinese companies, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

Coal to dominate, Macfarlane told
The Australian
Miners have seized on a report commissioned by the Energy Policy Institute which finds that coal will dominate the global power sector for decades, The Australian reports.

Industry in North Dakota to Cut Flared Natural Gas
The New York Times
Faced with growing criticism and lawsuits, an oil industry task force representing hundreds of companies in North Dakota pledged on Wednesday to make an all-out effort to capture almost all the natural gas that is being flared in the Bakken shale oil field by the end of the decade.


UK invests in offshore wind farms despite cost
The Times (U.K.)
Britain has more offshore wind turbines than the rest of Europe combined, according to an industry report.

EDF Renewable to Sell Power From California Wind Farm to Edison
A U.S. unit of the French utility Electricite de France SA agreed to sell power from a wind farm it’s developing near San Francisco to Edison International. (EIX).

Indian State’s Solar Decree Overturned on Power-User Objections
An Indian tribunal set aside an order by the Tamil Nadu state electricity regulator that forced large energy consumers to purchase solar power.


Gamesa Closing Pennsylvania Plant After U.S. Wind Credit Expires
Gamesa Corp. Tecnologica SA (GAM), Spain’s largest wind-turbine maker, plans to close a blade factory in Pennsylvania to cut costs after a U.S. tax incentive expired.


Water Companies May Benefit Most Post-West Virginia Spill
American Water Works Co. (AWK) may be among the companies that most benefit from regulatory and industry changes after the chemical spill on West Virginia’s Elk River, according to Brean Capital analyst Michael Gaugler.


California Carbon Market Watch: A Comprehensive Analysis of the Golden State’s Cap-and-Trade Program,Year One (January 8, 2014)

Assessing Corporate Emissions Performance Through the Lens of Climate Science (December 2013)
Climate Counts and Center for Sustainable Organizations

Use of internal carbon price by companies as incentive and strategic planning tool (Posted December 11, 2013)

OECD: Effective carbon prices (November 4, 2013)

Global 500 Climate Change Report 2013 (Posted September 12, 2013)

The Future of China’s Power Sector (posted August 27, 2013)
Bloomberg New Energy Finance

U.S. Energy Sector Vulnerabilities to Climate Change and Extreme Weather (Posted July 14, 2013)
U.S. Dept. of Energy

Turn down the heat: climate extremes, regional impacts, and the case for resilience (Posted June 19, 2013)
World Bank

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