In this edition, a focus on decision-making in Washington and climate’s role in the mid-terms. It starts with: Supreme Court weighs EPA authority to regulate greenhouse gases. The program in question is the Environmental Protection Agency’s permitting process for coal-fired power plants, chemical facilities and oil refineries. Also, the transcript from weekend TV: President Obama is pressing ahead with his climate-change agenda. What is the Obama administration trying to do, and will he get help from a hedge-fund billionaire? The Washington Post reports: Environmental advocates target climate change as Democratic election issue. And, two Democratic lawmakers are defending Secretary of State John Kerry’s remark likening climate change to a weapon of mass destruction. While another former Veep candidate remains on the stump (in a different capacity): Al Gore brings climate change message to Kansas City.
Quote of the Day:
“What was really energizing is everyone understood clean energy would be at the forefront of the Senate agenda. It wasn’t back-away; it was clearly lean-in.”
–Wade Randlett, a renewable energy entrepreneur who co-hosted the San Francisco Democrat fundraiser, in The Washington Post’s “Environmental advocates target climate change as Democratic election issue”
EU Carbon Permits Have Longest Weekly Rising Streak Since 2010
European Union carbon permits had their longest weekly rising streak since 2010 as the bloc’s lawmakers were poised to give final approval on Feb. 24 for the market’s first intervention to fix a record glut. December carbon allowances advanced 8.2 percent since Feb. 14 for a sixth week of gains, the longest period since September 2010, according to prices from ICE Futures Europe exchange compiled by Bloomberg.
Supreme Court weighs EPA authority to regulate greenhouse gases
The Hill’s E2 Wire
The Supreme Court on Monday will hear challenges to an Obama administration greenhouse gas regulation. The program in question is the Environmental Protection Agency’s permitting process for industry sources, which includes coal-fired power plants, chemical facilities and oil refineries.
Environmental Groups Resort to Suing Industries Directly
The New York Times/Texas Tribune
Starting Monday, a federal judge in Waco will hear arguments from the Sierra Club that Luminant Generation Company, the state’s largest electric generator, has been spewing far more pollution into the air from an East Texas coal plant than is allowed by federal and state law.
The Heat Is On
Transcript: WSJ’s Journal Editorial Report on Fox News Channel
President Obama is pressing ahead with his climate-change agenda. What is the Obama administration trying to do, and will he get help from a hedge-fund billionaire?
Environmental advocates target climate change as Democratic election issue
The Washington Post
Democratic fundraiser last week at billionaire Tom Steyer’s home amounted to a summit between Washington’s liberal elite and San Francisco’s climate intelligentsia. Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), six other senators and a 2014 Senate candidate took in views of the Golden Gate Bridge with former vice president Al Gore and some of the nation’s richest environmentalist donors.
Climate hawks defend WMD remark
The Hill’s E2 Wire
Two Democratic lawmakers are defending Secretary of State John Kerry’s remark likening climate change to a weapon of mass destruction. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.) and Rep. Henry Waxman (Calif.) said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) were wrong to criticize Kerry’s speech on the consequences of climate change.
Al Gore brings climate change message to Kansas City
Kansas City Star
Al Gore has been known for his climate change warnings since the 2006 film “An Inconvenient Truth.”
Fossil fuels remain at the forefront, energy expert says
The Boston Globe
The use of wind, solar, and other renewable energy resources will increase significantly over the next few decades, but fossil fuels such as oil, coal, and natural gas likely will continue to dominate the energy mix and drive the global economy, said Daniel Yergin, one of the world’s foremost energy experts.
Shell hits out at Brussels energy policy
Royal Dutch Shellhas launched a broadside against what it says is a “European energy crisis” that could drive a raft of new coal power plants across the continent at the expense of cleaner alternatives such as gas.
Small Nebraska agency might further complicate Keystone fight
A small Nebraska state commission that has never considered a major oil pipeline route could soon play a pivotal role in deciding the fate of the Keystone XL pipeline, a project brimming with political risk for both the U.S. and Canadian governments.
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
Round Table: California Clean Energy Markets and Policy Strategies
February 28, 2014
Click here for more information and to register.
Navigating the American Carbon World (NACW) 2014
March 26-28, 2014
San Francisco, California
13th Biennial Conference and Trade Fair on Business and Sustainability
March 26-28, 2014
Vancouver, British Columbia
Aircraft face fines as deadline looms for EU pollution penalties
U.S. airlines have stepped up the pressure on EU countries not to enforce emissions law in the latest twist to an international row over aircraft pollution.
China Strengthens Monitoring as Beijing’s Air Pollution Persists
Beijing’s air pollution reached eight times World Health Organization-recommended levels as smog in the city persisted for a fourth day, prompting China’s environmental protection regulator to send inspection teams to the capital and surrounding areas.
Natural Gas/Coal/Alternative Fuels
New ethanol industry blooms in Iowa, but it could soon be uprooted
Des Moines Register
The line of headlights begins close to 6 a.m. as trucks and other vehicles file into the $250 million construction project south of this northwest Iowa town of 3,900.
Rise in ethanol credits signals change at EPA
US ethanol credits rivalled Bitcoin last year as one of the world’s wildest markets. Prices for the credits, known as Rins, leapt from pennies to more than $1 at the start of 2013.
Five Striking Concepts for Harnessing the Sea’s Power
Off the southern coast of Australia, a new effort is under way to capture the energy embedded in ocean swells. Special buoys will be used to convert the sea’s waves into a maximum of 62.5 megawatts (MW), or enough to power 10,000 homes, according to an announcement this week from project partners Lockheed Martin and Victorian Wave Partners Ltd. Touted as the world’s largest wave energy project, the Australia buoys are still just a drop in the bucket for wave power potential.
Despite New Plants, Nuclear Future Still Decades Away
US News & World Report
After four years of wrangling, the nation’s first new nuclear reactors in more than 30 years got the federal financing they needed this week, but any resurgence in nuclear energy remains a long way off, experts say. “It is unlikely that any new plants will be ordered until the [new] units are well along and gas increases significantly in price,” says Carl Seligson, chairman of Utility Financial Experts, a consulting firm.
States Brace for Utilities, Solar Advocates Clash
Pew Charitable Trusts
Someone is installing a solar power system in the U.S. every four minutes. Generous state and federal tax credits for hooking up solar panels on roofs or in fields make solar energy attractive to homeowners and businesses.
Brazil power firm Cemig mulls bid for stake in Colombia’s Isagen
Brazilian electricity company Companhia Energética de Minas Gerais Cemig is considering buying a stake in Colombia’s third-biggest power generator Isagen SA, the latest step by Brazil’s second-biggest power utility to expand in fast-growing markets and segments.
State of Green Business 2014
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)