Lead Stories

JPMorgan sells physical commodities unit to Mercuria for $3.5 billion
JPMorgan is selling its physical commodities business to Mercuria for $3.5 billion, the U.S. investment bank said on Wednesday, sweeping the fast-growing Swiss trading house into the top league of commodities traders.

Obama unleashing power of data on climate change
The Obama administration hopes to fight global warming with the geeky power of numbers, maps and even gaming-type simulations.
Officials figure the more you know about climate change the more likely you will do something.
The White House on Wednesday announced an initiative to provide private companies and local governments better access to already public climate data. The idea is that with that localized data they can help the public understand the risks they face, especially in coastal areas where flooding is a big issue.

Osborne freezes carbon tax at 2015 levels
Britain’s carbon tax will be frozen at 2015 levels of 18.08 pounds per tonne, Chancellor George Osborne said on Wednesday, as a part of the government’s annual budget.

Methanol as Fuel Substitute Gets Chilly U.S. Reception
Jim Efstathiou Jr. – Bloomberg
Backers of using methanol from natural gas as a substitute for gasoline got a chilly reception from a federal official who said he is skeptical the fuel will gain widespread adoption for use in cars and trucks.

EU lawmakers reject deal to exempt foreign flights from emission charges
he European Parliament’s environment committee voted on Wednesday to reject a deal to exempt long-haul flights from paying for carbon emissions until the end of 2016, aiming to prevent the European Union from bowing to international pressure.

Green Rules Shutting Power Plants Threaten U.K. Shortage: Energy
Rachel Morison – Bloomberg
The U.K. risks power shortages because utilities may react to Europe’s toughest carbon-emissions rules by closing plants without replacing them.
The amount of electricity available over peak demand may drop below 2 percent next year, the lowest level in western Europe, the nation’s energy regulator says. Centrica Plc, the biggest U.K. supplier, says investment in new generating capacity has “ground to a halt.”

China draws up plan to tackle widespread soil pollution
China’s environmental authorities have passed a plan to tackle soil pollution as the government becomes increasingly concerned about the risk to food posed by widespread contamination of farmland.

BP Ends Renewables Energy Target After $8.3 Billion Spend
Louise Downing – Bloomberg
BP Plc, recovering from an oil spill that may cost it as much as $42 billion, said it hasn’t set a new target for investing in renewable energy after investing $8.3 billion in the business.
The company in 2005 set a target to spend $8 billion by 2015 and achieved that last year, according to a report on sustainability issued by BP today. It isn’t setting a new goal.

EU leaders to set October deadline to agree 2030 climate goals
Barbara Lewis and Ben Garside – Reuters
European Union leaders are preparing to set an October deadline for agreeing on the bloc’s 2030 climate and energy goals, a draft document seen by Reuters shows.

Ukraine Crisis Is a Call to Rethink Energy Policies
Vanessa Mock – The Wall Street Journal
The Ukraine crisis is a wake-up call for European countries to rethink their energy policies and make the switch from Russian gas to clean, renewable sources of energy, says Connie Hedegaard, the European Union’s climate chief.
Ms. Hedegaard also said it was also a “myth” that the increased use of renewable power, such as wind and solar, was to blame for soaring energy costs in Europe.


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


Key climate-change measurement imperiled
Doyle Rice – USA Today
One of the planet’s top dipsticks is in trouble.
The “Keeling curve,” the most famous measurement of the world’s rising levels of carbon dioxide for the past six decades, is in jeopardy from funding shortfalls.

Steel Industry Urges Overhaul of EU Carbon-Trading System
Ewa Krukowska – Bloomberg
The European Union should consider granting more free carbon allowances to most efficient energy-intensive companies and exclude such permits from trading, according to the EU steel industry lobby Eurofer.

BP urges progress on global carbon price
Ed King – RTCC
Oil giant BP says regional and national carbon pricing policies are likely to be the best way to tackle climate change.
It says these will make lower-carbon energy and efficiency measures “more attractive” to businesses, adding it is actively encouraging governments to explore these options.

California’s low-carbon fuel rule future hazy
California is replacing oil with cleaner-burning fuels in cars and trucks, thanks to a landmark low-carbon fuel rule, according to a recent report. But the rule’s fate is uncertain amid legal chaos and a shortfall in the production of clean biofuels.

April Showers Bring… a New Record for Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide
Colin Schultz – Smithsonian
Last year, the world flirted with a depressing milestone: for the first time in human history, the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide peaked at 400 parts per million. This is the most basic sign of humanity’s effect on the global greenhouse, and last year, it made only a quick dash up to 400 ppm, with the peak concentration during the seasonal high sneaking just over the mark. This year, two months earlier, we’ve already hit 400 parts per million, and unlike last time, the concentration of carbon dioxide is expected to stay over that level for a while.

China-India cooperation on carbon emission to benefit both: Daily
Coordinated efforts by China and India will help in moving both the countries towards global sustainability goals in carbon emission, a leading Chinese daily said Wednesday.
An article in The People’s Daily newspaper said that the two countries faced similar mitigation pressures and this suggested the possibility and priority of cooperation between the two nations.

Natural Gas/Coal

EPA Proposes Rule To Alter Greenhouse Gas Reporting For Oil/Natural Gas Industries
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) has proposed changes to the existing greenhouse gas reporting regulations for the natural gas and petroleum system source category to revise certain calculation methods, amend monitoring and data reporting requirements, and amend confidentiality determinations for the new and revised data elements. Comments on the proposed rule are due on April 24.

Coal Update: US Coal Distribution Fell In The Fourth Quarter: Energy Information Administration
Meagan Clark – International Business Times
Coal distributed in the U.S. fell last year about 7 percent in the fourth quarter compared to the third quarter and 6 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2012, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Tuesday.

Japan’s Coal Imports Rise, Raising Carbon Emissions
Mari Iwata – The Wall Street Journal
Japan is on a path to increase its carbon-dioxide emissions because it is shifting to coal imports from more expensive liquefied natural gas.
Recent trade statistics suggest Japan’s LNG demand has peaked even though the country continues to go without any nuclear power plants in operation. Meanwhile, coal imports are moving higher.

Duke Energy eyes closing more coal plants in response to Dan River spill
John Downey – Charlotte Business Journal
Little noticed as North Carolina and Duke Energy wrangle over coal ash issues is CEO Lynn Good’s recent suggestion that Duke may abandon 930 megawatts of coal capacity beyond long-planned plant retirements already announced.
If that were to happen, it would mark the first time that Duke (NYSE:DUK) will shut down what it has considered relatively modern coal units already outfitted with advanced pollution controls.

Botswana Wants to Ship 115 Million Tons of Coal to Asian Buyers
Felix Njini – BloombergBusinessweek
Botswana plans to ship 115 million metric tons of coal per year within a decade to meet growing demand in China and India, the country’s chamber of mines said.
Exports would start at 65 million tons when the 1,500 kilometer (932 mile) Trans-Kalahari railway linking Mmamabula coalfields with the port of Walvis Bay in Namibia is completed in five years, Charles Siwawa, chief executive officer of the Botswana Chamber of Mines, said in an interview today. That could be increased by 77 percent within three years, he said.

Natural gas moves off lows from bearish springtime weather forecasts
Natural gas futures rose on Wednesday after bottom fishers snapped up nicely-priced positions in the commodity and erased losses stemming from expectations that spring’s mild temperatures will cut into demand for heating.


EDF Curbs Nuclear Generation to Allow for Wind and Solar on Grid
Tara Patel – Bloomberg
Electricite de France SA, the world’s biggest nuclear operator, is having to cut production from its reactors to accommodate higher European wind and solar output, potentially curbing future earnings from atomic power.

EDF Said to Hire HSBC to Advise on $27 Billion Nuclear Project
Sally Bakewell – Bloomberg
Electricite de France SA appointed HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA) to advise on the financing for the 16 billion-pound ($27 billion) project to build the U.K.’s first nuclear power plant since 1995.

Technology Played Key Role In Wind Industry Growth
American wind energy generation has outpaced the growth in new wind power capacity thanks to innovative technological advancements. Over the past five years, U.S. wind energy capacity grew from 25,000 megawatts (MW) to over 61,000 MW, a 140 percent growth rate, yet electricity generated from these wind turbines grew at a rate of 200 percent, exceeding capacity growth and making wind energy cheaper than ever.

N.J. rejects plan for wind power farm off Atlantic City
Wayne Parry – NorthJersey.com
New Jersey energy regulators have taken the air out of a $188 million plan to build a wind power farm off the coast of Atlantic City.
The state Board of Public Utilities rejected a proposal by Fishermen’s Energy to build a windmill farm three miles off the state’s southern coast, deciding it was too risky financially.

Scottish Government Approves Two Offshore Wind Farms Totaling 1.87 GW
North American Wind Power
Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has announced the formal consent of two large offshore wind farms that are adjacent to each other in the outer Moray Firth. The minister says the developments, sited off the Caithness coast, will be capable of generating a total of up to 1.87 GW and worth up to 2.5 billion British pounds to the Scottish economy.


Facing drought, California farmers rally against regulations limiting water supplies
Will Carr – Fox News
Thousands of farmers in drought-stricken California are rallying this week in opposition to regulations that have frozen water supplies across the state.
“It’s devastating, it’s like I’ll have to sell something. I’ll have to sell half to maintain the other half,” Alfalfa farmer Michael Erskine said.

Sao Paulo Warned to Take Steps to Avoid World Cup Water Shortage
Christiana Sciaudone – Bloomberg
The World Water Council is warning Sao Paulo, Brazil’s biggest city, to take emergency measures to conserve water as the region reels from a record drought or risk supply shortages during the World Cup.

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