In this edition, coverage of continued Keystone wrangling in House Passes Keystone Bill as White House Vows. Plus, Utilities Tap Cheaper Compliance Option With UN Carbon Banking, reports Bloomberg. And, Cheap shale gas bubble ‘will burst within 2-4 years’, says an industry follower quoted on

Editor’s Note: We will not publish Monday, May 27 and Tuesday, May 28 in observance of the U.S. Memorial Day holiday.

Quote of the Day:

“[There is] no silver bullet to solve the strategic energy challenges that Europe faces.”

–European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso in EurActiv’s “Leaders hesitate between common EU response and ‘silver bullets’ on energy”

Lead Stories

U.S. House votes to force approval of Keystone pipeline
The House of Representatives approved a bill as expected on Wednesday declaring that a presidential permit was not needed to approve the Canada-to-Nebraska leg of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, a move that would take a decision on the project away from the Obama administration.

House Passes Keystone Bill as White House Vows Veto
The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline, the eighth time congressional Republicans have advanced a measure promoting the project.

COLUMN-Keystone XL double standard: Tale of 2 pipelines: Campbell
A casual observer familiar with the Keystone XL saga would think the United States was making it very hard to build any oil sands-related pipelines. But nothing could be farther from the truth.

Science Group Criticizes Politicians for Global Warming Distortions
New York Times Dot Earth blog
It’s great to see the Union of Concerned Scientists offering nonpartisan criticism of elected officials for distorting — in both directions — what’s known about the role of human-driven global warming on several fronts, from tornado ferocity to hurricane losses.

Climate Scientist Hansen Turns Activist, Advocates ‘Fee’ on Carbon Pollution
James Hansen, the former NASA climate scientist who first brought climate change to the attention of Congress in the 1980s, stepped down as head of the agency’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies last month. That hasn’t stopped him traveling the globe to lobby for climate protection measures, while remaining an adjunct professor for Earth and Environmental Studies at Columbia University.

Cheap shale gas bubble ‘will burst within 2-4 years’: Expert
The current shale gas boom which has bathed the US economy in cheap energy will soon go bust, a former gas industry geologist has told EurActiv.

Leaders hesitate between common EU response and ‘silver bullets’ on energy
Several EU leaders attending a summit in Brussels announced yesterday (22 May) they would prioritise ‘silver bullet’ solutions – such as the development of shale gas – to reduce energy prices. The European Commission, meanwhile, said simultaneous action was needed “on several fronts.”

Hollande calls for EU ‘harmonisation’ on renewable energy
European Union countries should consider dropping their national support schemes for renewable energies in favour of a harmonised EU approach that would send a clearer signal to investors, French President François Hollande said at the conclusion of an EU summit yesterday (22 May).

Utility CEOs Slam EU Energy Policy
The Wall Street Journal
The chief executives of eight leading energy utilities Wednesday criticized the European Union’s political leaders for the bloc’s fragmented energy policy, calling for a more favorable market environment to encourage investment in energy infrastructure.

India’s Wind-Power Target Is up in the Air
The Wall Street Journal
India’s ambitious push to increase the share of renewable energy in its total power generation portfolio to nearly one-fifth by 2017 largely on the back of wind power could falter due to slow progress in implementing policies to attract investment to the sector, according to industry officials.


Waste Conversion Congress East Coast
Boston, Massachusetts
June 17-18

2013 Rising Seas Summit
Association of Climate Change Officers
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
June 18-20

New York Energy Week
New York, NY
June 24 -28

Converge Paris
Sustainable Energy Tech Conference
Paris, France
June 24-28


Utilities Tap Cheaper Compliance Option With UN Carbon Banking
Utilities and refineries have retained the most flexibility among European Union industries to use lower-cost United Nations carbon offsets to comply with the bloc’s emissions caps from 2013 to 2020, according to EU data.

U.K. Climate Adviser Says Low-Carbon Mix Saves $150 Bln
Britain, under pressure to build new power stations, could save as much as 100 billion pounds ($150 billion) through 2050 by spending on wind, nuclear and carbon capture rather than gas, the government’s climate adviser said.

Natural Gas/Coal/Alternative Fuels

Japan Increases Coal Use at Expense of Oil
The Wall Street Journal
Japan’s thermal coal imports rose while oil imports fell in April, reflecting increased coal-fired output at electricity utilities. The trend of coal replacing relatively more expensive oil will likely continue until the summer, as higher temperatures could force generators to use all available capacity.

China plans tougher quality standards for coal to tackle pollution
China may impose higher quality standards for imported and locally traded coal to cut air pollution, two sources said, in a move that could slash imports while boosting the fortunes of a faltering domestic industry.

COLUMN-China, India may seek better quality coal: Clyde Russell
Asian giants China and India may be planning to improve the quality of coal they are burning, but it’s unlikely any changes will have much effect on the level of imports for the foreseeable future.

Russia tweaks taxes to stimulate hard-to-recover gas output
Russia plans to switch to a variable tax rate on natural gas producers to lessen the burden on companies willing to develop deep and remote fields, and to claw back money from exporters which enjoy benefits.

China’s Green Drive to Boost Oil Demand
The Wall Street Journal
In China’s government-driven economy, the law of unintended consequences is strong. So a new rule meant to help the environment could boost Big Oil instead.

Energy-Rich Colorado Becomes Setting for Fracking Fight
Stan Dempsey, an oil and gas lobbyist, raced from one committee hearing to another in Colorado’s statehouse this spring, defending the industry against an onslaught of bills.

Itochu, Partners to Make Non-Food Biodiesel Fuel in Nebraska
Itochu Corp. (8001), a Japanese trading company, and partners are investing in technology developed by Benefuel Inc. to produce biodiesel fuel from inedible feedstock.


Merkel protégé struggles with Germany’s green revolution
Chancellor Angela Merkel appointed him for his charm and political skill as marshal of her vision of a ‘green revolution’ in Europe’s biggest power market. A year on, Peter Altmaier finds himself spurned by many environmentalists, disdained by industry and viewed coolly by a public wary of the costs.

Thailand’s Blackout Raises Questions About Power Stability
The Wall Street Journal
More than eight million residents and tourists in southern Thailand -– many of them in famous travel hubs such as Phuket, Hat Yai and Koh Samui –- were caught off guard by the country’s biggest-ever power blackout Tuesday night, plunging much of the region into darkness.

Australian Venture OneWind Plans $2 Billion in Power Projects
OneWind Australia, a venture backed by private equity fund Denham Capital Management LP, expects the first of as much as $2 billion in wind farms it plans in the country to start operating by 2015.

Vestas Wins 155-MW Turbine Order From IENova in Mexico
Vestas Wind Systems A/S (VWS), the wind-turbine maker with the highest installed capacity, won a 155-megawatt order from Infraestructura Energetica Nova SAB, the Mexican unit of U.S. natural-gas utility Sempra Energy. (SRE).

Munich Re Buys 30 Megawatts of Onshore Wind Farms in Sweden
Munich Re (MUV2), the biggest re-insurer, is buying three wind farms in Sweden with a combined capacity of 30 megawatts as it earmarks 2.5 billion euros ($3.2 billion) to invest in renewable-energy assets.


Extreme Weather and Climate Change in the American Mind April 2013 (Posted May 1, 2013)
Yale Project on Climate Change

Clearing the Air: Reducing Upstream Greenhouse Gas Emissions from U.S. Natural Gas Systems (Posted April 8, 2013)
World Resources Institute

The State of Green Business 2013 (Posted February 12, 2013)

Can the US Get There from Here? (Posted February 6, 2013)

The Billion Euro Aviation Bonanza – Aviation’s Participation in the EU ETS (Posted January 22, 2013)

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