In today’s edition: Bloomberg cites IETA’s Forrister saying “U.S. Coal Rules May Allow State CO2 Markets.” Environmental News Network offers “RGGI Update: Regional Cap-and-Trade Program Survives New York Challenge But Faces Others”. And, “Left-right climate group quietly weighing proposals for carbon tax” is found on The Hill’s E2 Wire.

Quote of the Day:

“We just looked at the [auction] money and the impact of those dollars. We found that there’s absolutely an economic return for collecting cap and trade revenues. And that’s true almost regardless of how you use them.”

Analysis Group’s Paul Hibbard on his firm’s RGGI report in Inside Climate News’  “Cap and Trade Resurrected? Some States Awaken to Its Economic Benefits”

Lead Stories

U.S. Coal Rules May Allow State CO2 Markets: Forrister
The U.S. may allow states to regulate emissions from existing coal-fired power plants using carbon markets, according to the president of the International Emissions Trading Association.
**RKB — Power utilities didn’t want a patchwork of 50 carbon-reduction programs, “but that may be happening.” says Forrister, in this article. Of course, how any emissions program – market-based or otherwise — moves ahead depends on who’s in the White House.

RGGI Update: Regional Cap-and-Trade Program Survives New York Challenge But Faces Others
Environmental News Network
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) — a cap-and-trade program designed to limit power plant emissions in 10 Northeastern states — has been under close scrutiny in recent months as a result of lawsuits in New Jersey and New York, and legislation in New Hampshire. Each of these developments demonstrates the polarization and controversy that continue to surround greenhouse gas regulation, and RGGI in particular, years after the regional trading program first took effect.
**RKB — This is largely a quick rehash of RGGI’s steps forward and back in recent months. See story below for a different take.

Cap and Trade Resurrected? Some States Awaken to Its Economic Benefits
Inside Climate News
Evidence showing that cap and trade can bolster a new revenue stream has some state and federal officials quietly seeking answers.
**RKB – A handful of states, mostly in the Midwest but also in the deep South, have contacted RGGI officials about cap and trade, says Collin O’Mara, RGGI chairman and secretary of the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

Carbon Top Commodity Stokes Suspicion EU Ideas Leaked
The most ambitious market-based effort to control carbon emissions is being undermined by a glut of permits, amid allegations that European Union ideas to tackle the surplus are being leaked prematurely.  

ETS changes will depress carbon market
New Zealand Herald
Changes the Government plans to make to the emissions trading scheme will reduce demand and increase supply in a market already flooded with cheap imported carbon. They risk reducing the price signal from a pretty faint murmur now to one that is well nigh inaudible.

Population Issues – What China Needs to do Now
Environmental News Network
China, perhaps more than any other country, faces many important and difficult population challenges: reproductive health and reproductive rights, rural-urban migration and reform of the hukou system, and imbalances in the sex ratio at birth. And two deeply connected population issues, the rapid aging of the population, on the one hand, and the low birth rate and the family planning policy on the other, are of great significance to China’s future development.

The World’s Most Resource-Rich Countries
24/7 Wall St.
24/7 Wall St. performed a detailed analysis of the 10 most plentiful and valuable natural resources on earth. Using estimates of each country’s total reserves and the market value of these resources, we determined the 10 countries that have the most valuable supplies of natural resources

Ethanol 15: The View from the Road
The New York Times Green blog
How much progress is ethanol making?  

Ethanol Rises to Highest Since November as Drought Boosts Corn
Ethanol increased to the highest price in more than seven months as drought in the U.S. worsens yield losses on corn, boosting costs for distillers.

Helping U.S. Farmers Increase Production and Protect the Land
Yale Environment 360
American agriculture is steeped in a chemical-intensive system that wastes money and pollutes the environment. But by making use of new technology and innovative approaches, farmers can boost production and profits — while at the same time improving soil quality, enhancing biodiversity, and protecting habitat.

Who’s Greener: Obama or Romney?
Yahoo’s TakePart
In Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, campaign-approved representatives for Obama and Romney duked it out during an informal debate on energy and environmental policy hosted by the Business Roundtable.

White House holds ‘pep talk’ on biofuels
The Hill’s E2 Wire
Sensing increasing resistance to a Navy biofuels testing program, the White House on Wednesday convened biofuels proponents for a strategy session about the energy source.

Left-right climate group quietly weighing proposals for carbon tax
The Hill’s E2 Wire
A broad coalition of advocates has been meeting quietly to discuss a path forward on climate and fiscal policy, including proposals for a carbon tax.


Carbon Forum North America
October 1-2, 2012
Washington, DC

Sustainability Summit – Innovation Challenge
October 9, 2012
New York


Romania to resume trading carbon emission rights
Romania has won the right to resume trading its surplus carbon emission rights, almost a year being suspended from doing so under the Kyoto Protocol, Romanian Environment Minister Rovana Plumb has said.

British Climate Rules More Costly Than in U.S., Germany
U.K. climate policies add more to the cost of power for energy-intensive companies than measures in Germany, France and the U.S., a study commissioned by the government in London found.  

Climate change policies ‘eroding’ competitiveness, say manufacturers
Business Green
Manufacturers have today warned the UK’s climate change policies are eroding any competitive advantage they enjoy over other countries by disproportionately pushing up the price of energy.

Alaska Seeks to Block Emissions Control Rules by Suing Agencies
Alaska sued the Obama administration to block the Environmental Protection Agency and the Coast Guard from extending the North American Emissions Control Area to the state.

U.S. to host meeting of opponents of EU airline law
Reuters Point Carbon
The U.S. government will host a meeting on July 31 of about a dozen countries that oppose an EU law that forces all foreign airlines to pay for greenhouse gas emissions, piling further pressure on the EU to back down and the international community to find a global solution.

Natural Gas/Coal

Chesapeake Reserve Doubted
The Wall Street Journal
An independent research firm called into question the size of Chesapeake Energy Corp.’s CHK +2.41% proved reserves of oil and natural gas, an important metric institutional investors use to value energy producers, in a report published this week.  

Coal Miners suffering as energy mix shifts
Environmental News Network
At some point today, you will probably flip on a light switch. That simple action connects you to the oldest and most plentiful source of American electricity: coal.

In Europe, Coal Regains Its Crown
Forbes Contributor
Like a smoker desperately trying to kick his nicotine habit, the United States is steadily reducing its dependence on coal for power generation.  Europe, meanwhile, is headed for four packs a day.

Japan utilities burn record gas in June as all reactors shut
Japan’s 10 utilities consumed a record volume of natural gas to generate power in June, industry data showed on Friday, as all of the country’s 50 nuclear reactors were shut throughout the month for the first time since 1970.


U.K. Seen Doubling Power Price to Guarantee New Reactor: Energy
The future of the U.K.’s nuclear industry will be decided on one number: the price the government’s willing to guarantee Electricite de France SA will get for generating atomic power.  

Munich Re Buys German Wind Parks in $3 Billion Renewables Plan
Munich Re, the world’s biggest reinsurer, agreed to buy six wind parks in Germany from developer Wpd AG as part of a plan to invest 2.5 billion euros ($3 billion) in renewable energy and new technologies.

Why we pay double for solar in America (but won’t forever)              
I often get flak when I publish research on the cost trajectory for solar (my “Rooftop Revolution” report estimates 100 million Americans reaching grid parity by 2021). About half think I’m too conservative, and half think I’m too overconfident that solar will continue to drop in price by 7 percent per year indefinitely.

Advocates voice optimism for NH’s wind power potential
New Hampshire Union Leader
New Hampshire has the potential to have its wind industry grow fivefold during 2012, according to the American Wind Energy Association.


Why Tax Credits Are Critical to the Wind for Growth
The Energy Collective
Today, Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu visited Ingeteam, a wind and solar equipment manufacturer in Milwaukee. The visit showcased the company’s recent $21 million expansion and the 275 jobs the company has created or plans to add by 2015. It also indirectly demonstrated the growing wind energy industry in the state of Wisconsin (see more at NRDC’s renewable energy map).


Apple’s Greenpeace cloud rating no longer a ‘fail’
In an updated report on energy use among cloud data centers, Apple is no longer failing in two key areas, and has improved in others, Greenpeace says.

Big Data Goes Green
Renewable Energy World
Cloud computing, where software is delivered as a service to end users over the internet, is currently receiving a lot of attention. The term describes data-processing operations that are outsourced to server farms, instead of being powered on-site. These range from websites and remotely hosted networks, to digital storage space and individual documents.   

Clean-tech policy divisiveness tempers energy start-up hopes
The Hill’s E2 Wire
Venture capitalists have started looking at less capital-intensive energy investments in response to mixed U.S. policy signals, hedge fund managers said Friday at the Silicon Valley Energy Summit.


Like coffee and cocoa, bonds to get green certified
Investors will soon be able to buy corporate bonds with a ‘climate’ certification, much as consumers with strong social and environmental convictions now buy coffee and chocolate products with labels such as Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance.


The Interim Regulation of Voluntary Greenhouse Gases Emission Trading in China (Posted July 10, 2012)
The Climate Group

Measure for Management: C40 Cities (July 9, 2012)
Carbon Disclosure Project

Characterizing Pivotal Sources of Methane Emissions from Unconventional Natural Gas Production (Posted June 4, 2012)

Vulnerability of US and European electricity supply to climate change (Posted June 4, 2012)
Nature Climate Change

Developing Dimension: State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2012 (Posted May 31, 2012)
Ecosystem Marketplace

Tackling exposure: placing disaster risk management at the heart of national economic and fiscal policy (Posted May 22, 2012)

Fossil fuel price shocks and a low carbon economy (Posted May 21, 2012)

Using the Allowance Value from California’s Carbon Trading System: Legal Risk Factors, Impacts to Ratepayers and the Economy (Posted May 17, 2012)

Inclusive Green Growth: The Pathways to Sustainable Development (Posted May 9, 2012)
World Bank

Meeting Canada’s 2020 Climate Change Commitments (Posted May 8, 2012)
Office of Auditor General

View all reports >

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