Lead Stories

EU Russian-Gas Cut Bid Amid Ukraine Crisis Sidelines Climate
Ewa Krukowska – Bloomberg
The annexation of Crimea by Russia pushed European Union plans to cut reliance on natural-gas imports from Russia’s OAO Gazprom (GAZP) to the forefront as the bloc held a first debate on 2030 energy and climate policies.

BP calls for global carbon price to avoid the “worst impacts of climate change”
Barry Saxifrage – Vancouver Observer
Last year BP projected global climate pollution would “most likely” surge 26% by 2030. As I reported at the time, this would crank up the Earth’s thermostat a disastrous +4C according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). That is twice the +2C threshold for “dangerous climate change” that all major nations have promised to stay below.

Lessons offered by emerging carbon trading markets
Although markets for trading carbon emission credits to reduce greenhouse gas emissions have stalled in United States federal policy-making, carbon markets are emerging at the state level within the U.S. and around the world, teaching us more about what does and doesn’t work.

Oil companies forced to take carbon bubble seriously
Peter McCartney – The Epoch Times
Big news from the world’s oil juggernauts about climate change and their bottom lines.
Royal Dutch Shell released its annual and strategic report for 2013 last week, acknowledging the threat that climate concerns pose to its bottom line. In its report to shareholders, the company listed the following subheading under “risk factors”:
“Rising climate change concerns could lead to additional regulatory measures that may result in project delays and higher costs.”

Ethanol Groups Seek Supreme Court Review Of California’s Low-Carbon Fuel Standard
Carolyn Whetzel  – Bloomberg BNA
Ethanol industry groups have asked the Supreme Court to determine whether California’s low-carbon fuel standard violates the dormant commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution (Rocky Mountain Farmers Union v. Corey, U.S., docket number unavailable, 3/20/14).

Hidden Treasure: Two New Resources Offer Up Massive Amounts of Utility Data
Green Button data is fine — when you can get it. But real-world smart grid data in huge volumes is better — particularly when it’s open to parties outside utility walls.
Two new energy data initiatives being launched this week illustrate how individual utilities and smart grid research consortia are helping to break the logjam on opening the flood of data from smart meters, smart grid devices and energy-aware homes.

Bears Turn Up Plug Power Bets as Fuel Cell Hype Fades: Options
Eric Lam – Bloomberg
Options traders are loading up on bearish bets on one of this year’s best stocks: Plug Power Inc. (PLUG)
The company, an unprofitable maker of fuel cells, has seen its shares surge almost 3,000 percent in the past year on signs the technology is a viable source of electricity.

BP Partner Anadarko E-Mails Seen Showing Role in Well
Jef Feeley and Laurel Brubaker Calkins – Bloomberg
Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (APC) officials urged BP Plc (BP/) to drill deeper into the Gulf of Mexico well that caused the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history even after BP warned that doing so would be unsafe.

The biggest lease holder in Canada’s oil sands isn’t Exxon Mobil or Chevron. It’s the Koch brothers.
Steven Mufson and Juliet Eilperin – The Washington Post
You might expect the biggest lease owner in Canada’s oil sands, or tar sands, to be one of the international oil giants, like Exxon Mobil or Royal Dutch Shell. But that isn’t the case. The biggest lease holder in the northern Alberta oil sands is a subsidiary of Koch Industries, the privately-owned cornerstone of the fortune of conservative Koch brothers Charles and David.


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

Solar Summit
Greentech Media’s flagship annual solar conference that focuses on global market trends, relevant technologies and project finance. With sessions on everything from Latin American market dynamics to BOS innovations, Solar Summit attracts high-level decision makers from all areas of the industry.
April 14-16, 2014
Phoenix, Arizona

Minnesota’s Marquee Solar Event
The Midwest Solar Expo is bringing together solar leaders from across the Midwest to advance dialogue on key issues, provide insight on the latest industry trends and best practices, and serve as a nexus between the solar industry and the public.
May 16, 2014
Minneapolis, Minnesota


How The EPA Could Cut Carbon Emissions Even More Than We Thought By 2020
Jeff Spross – ThinkProgress
The Environmental Protection Agency’s upcoming carbon rules for existing power plants could cut even more emissions than previously thought, according to a new analysis.
Back in 2013, a long legal battle over the Clean Air Act culminated with EPA releasing rules that will cut carbon dioxide emissions from new coal and natural gas plants.

EU warns biofuel carbon emissions ‘higher than expected’
Gerard Wynn – RTCC
The indirect carbon emissions from producing biofuels from food crops are much higher than previously calculated, a European Union study has found.
The study may be bad news for the European biofuel industry, already suffering from doubts over continued EU support.

Feisty Debate on Carbon Rights Raises More Questions Than Answers
Allie Goldstein – Forest Carbon Portal
Do global efforts to pay developing countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation aid in the fight for community and indigenous rights, or impede it? The Fifteenth Dialogue on Forests, Governance & Climate Change, hosted by the Rights & Resources Institute, brought together a mix of voices – and they weren’t always in harmony.

Aussie farmers to be paid to store carbon in soil
John Upton – Grist
Climate protection is getting down and dirty Down Under.
Soil serves as a great reservoir for carbon, yet it’s often overlooked in climate protection efforts. That’s changing in Australia, where farmers will soon be able to earn cash for projects that store carbon in the soil — such as tree plantings, dung beetle releases, and composting.

Global warming: Oregon policies generate carbon reductions, but still well short of targets
Ted Sickinger – The Oregonian
A patchwork of state policies on renewable energy, energy efficiency and clean fuel are putting a dent in U.S. carbon emissions in the absence of a comprehensive set of federal policies, according to a new report from the advocacy group Environment Oregon and its national coalition.

Natural Gas/Coal

Natural gas reserves fall to 11-year low; Wyoming may benefit
Benjamin Storrow – Casper Star-Tribune
Natural gas inventories nationwide reached an 11-year low during the second week of March, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported Thursday, in what industry analysts said could be a boon for Wyoming.

Coal Sliding as Australian Flood Boost Lost in Drought
Ben Sharples – Bloomberg
The drought across most of Australia’s Queensland state means coal producers are exporting record volumes into an oversupplied market, depriving them of the usual price gains caused by weather disruptions.

Ukraine Turmoil Will Weigh in LNG Export Decisions: Moniz
Jim Snyder and Julianna Goldman – Bloomberg
The Obama administration will consider the turmoil in Ukraine as it weighs whether to approve additional exports of natural gas to blunt Russia’s dominance as an energy supplier.

Natural-Gas Storage Tanks
Nicole Friedman – The Wall Street Journal
The nation’s effort to stay warm during the harsh winter has left natural-gas supplies at their lowest level in more than a decade, and even as the calendar shows it is spring, some investors are wagering that prices will stay high.
Natural-gas futures are up 10% from a year ago, and just last month they surged to five-year highs as frigid temperatures drove record demand.

Cheap natural gas helps grow manufacturing, mayors say
Timothy Cama – The Hill
The recent natural gas boom in the United States has helped grow manufacturing in major cities, the U.S. Conference of Mayors said.
Cheap natural gas has specifically helped nine energy-intensive manufacturing sectors, including fabricated metals, plastics and machinery, the group said. The conclusion is based on employment and sales figures from those industries from 2010 to 2012.

China to Raise Household Natural Gas Prices
The Wall Street Journal
China’s top economic planning agency said Friday it would raise natural gas prices for residential consumers by the end of 2015 in a bid to conserve energy.
The move won’t have a big initial impact on the market as about 80% of households won’t see a change in their rates, the National Development and Reform Commission said in a statement on its website.

Coal strip-mining fight heats up in southern Illinois
Kari Lydersen – Midwest Energy News
On March 13, a handful of local residents blocked a road through the forest in southern Illinois and attempted to prevent a contractor for Peabody Energy, the world’s largest coal company, from bringing in logging equipment to clear the area for a new 1,000-acre mine.


Goldwind’s Annual Profit Almost Triples on Costs, Rising Orders
Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co. (2208) said profit almost tripled as orders expanded and costs improved at China’s biggest wind-turbine maker.

Why the run in solar stocks is just beginning
Amanda Diaz – Yahoo Finance
Shares of First Solar, the largest U.S. solar-panel maker, are soaring this week. The stock jumped nearly 32% in the past five trading sessions, hitting levels not seen since September 2011.
What’s behind the move?

Wind More Favorable Than Solar For Grid-Scale Storage, Study Finds
Katherine Tweed – IEEE Spectrum
Low-cost, grid-scale energy storage is often described as the holy grail of the renewable energy industry.
Wind and solar resources have come down dramatically in price in recent years, and installations have increased significantly, but the intermittency of the two energy resources remains a challenge for grid operators.

Compromise may help preserve net metering in Kansas
Karen Uhlenhuth – Midwest Energy News
Clean-energy advocates and Kansas’ largest utility have agreed to maintain net metering in the state – but in a somewhat diminished form.

Loss Of Rebate Clouds Missouri’s Solar Industry
Maria Altman – St. Louis Public Radio
Those in Missouri’s solar industry are losing their sunny outlook.
A combination of lower solar equipment costs, a federal tax incentive, and an attractive state-mandated rebate pushed sales through the roof in 2013. The solar industry reported an additional 1,700 jobs in the state.

Wind Industry’s New Technologies Are Helping It Compete on Price
Diane Cardwell – The New York Times
The wind industry has gone to great lengths over the years to snap up the best properties for its farms, often looking to remote swaths of prairie or distant mountain ridges to maximize energy production and minimize community opposition.
Now, it is reaching for the sky.


Rising energy demand a threat to strained water supplies – UN
Alister Doyle – Reuters
Rising demand for energy, from biofuels to shale gas, is a threat to freshwater supplies that are already under strain from climate change, the United Nations said in a report on Friday.

Harvard Professor Wins Stockholm Prize for Water Management Work
Randall Hackley – Bloomberg
John Briscoe, a Harvard University professor, has been named 2014 Stockholm Water Prize laureate to honor works in water management and policy-making that have taken him from Bangladesh to Mozambique, Brazil and India.

Water Inequality Grew as Poorest Nations Neglected by Aid Givers
Justin Doom – Bloomberg
Global water inequality is growing with the poorest countries not receiving water and sanitation aid proportionate to their needs, according to WaterAid.

How NASA Can Save Us Billions of Gallons of Water
Vince Beiser – TakePart
A $1.5 million machine, a small aircraft, and a bunch of ex–ski bums traipsing about in the woods could be the key to a well-irrigated future.


​GMO labeling effort in Colorado scores win in state Supreme Court
An effort to put a ballot initiative in front of Colorado voters regarding the labeling of genetically modified foods was allowed to proceed after the state Supreme Court dismissed a challenge by biotech and food industry outfits.




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