In today’s edition, more analyses on the way the new EPA rules will work, as well as on their impact, viewed as positive or negative, and also calls to do more, in order to stimulate commitments ahead of the 2015 United Nations’ conference on climate change.
Quote of the day
“We would like to see more efforts to come from the United States”
Fatih Birol, the International Energy Agency (IEA)’s chief economist, in the Bloomberg Businessweek’s story U.S. Fossil-Fuel Cut Must Go Deeper to Spur Climate Fight
EU says successful in climate change goals as UN talks start
Alister Doyle, Reuters
The European Union touted its success in cutting greenhouse gases at U.N. talks on climate change on Wednesday, where a U.S. plan to cut power plant emissions has lifted hopes for a global deal in 2015.
EU Carbon Reform Breakthrough Seen Unlikely as This Month
Ewa Krukowska, Bloomberg
European Union governments are unlikely to reach a breakthrough this month on a proposal to make supply more flexible in the world’s biggest carbon market, according to Greece, which holds the EU’s rotating presidency.
***LB: Also in this story “The proposal to introduce a stability mechanism to adjust supply in the $73 billion carbon market needs support from EU governments and the European Parliament to become binding.”
U.S. Fossil-Fuel Cut Must Go Deeper to Spur Climate Fight
Reed Landberg and Lananh Nguyen, Bloomberg Businessweek
The U.S. must go much further than President Barack Obama has proposed in reducing carbon emissions if the fight against global warming is to gain any traction.
Taking Page From Health Care Act, Obama Climate Plan Relies on States
Coral Davenport and Peter Baker, The New York Times
President Obama’s new plan to fight climate change depends heavily on states’ devising individual approaches to meeting goals set in the nation’s capital, a strategy similar to the one he used to expand health care, often with rocky results.
Obama plan to reduce carbon pollution could see states increase emissions
Suzanne Goldenberg, theguardian.com
Barack Obama’s plan to cut carbon pollution from power plants places widely different burdens on the states, and in some cases allows states to increase – not reduce – emissions, according to early analyses of the new rules.
***LB: Also in this story “Kentucky is allowed a modest rise of 4% in emissions by 2030”
States May Look to California for Ways To Meet EPA Rule
Carolyn Whetzel, Bloomberg
California and other states that have already adopted climate policies have an advantage over states that waited for proposed federal rules mandating plans to curb carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants, California Air Resources Board Chairman Mary D. Nichols said June 2.
Obama Cools the Planet, But Puts Heat on Ottawa
Joe Gunn, HuffPost Canada
Every time I visit my in-laws in southern Illinois, I pass coal mines and electric plants where large banners denounce President Barack Obama as a hater of coal (and by extension, an enemy of all who live and work in this very state from whence the President hails.) It now seems the debate is about to heat up even more.
Moody’s: EPA rule would hurt coal producers in Appalachia, West most
Timothy Cama, The Hill
The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants would reduce the demand for coal, hurting coal producers in Appalachia, Montana and Wyoming the most, Moody’s Investors Service said.
Strong public support for new U.S. emission standards bodes ill for Keystone XL
William Marsden, Postmedia News
Despite an increasing number of polls that show almost overwhelming popular support for the new U.S. carbon emission standards, Republican politicians — and even some Democrats — have unleashed a firestorm of criticism claiming it will lead to extensive job losses and higher energy prices.
Fact checkers blast Chamber’s $289 billion price tag for EPA rule
Timothy Cama, The Hill
The Washington Post and PolitiFact are criticizing Republican lawmakers for citing the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s cost estimate for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) power plant emissions rule, saying the Chamber study relied on assumptions that proved false.
GOP senators want Obama to pull EPA plan
Timothy Cama, The Hill
Twenty-eight Republican senators are urging President Obama to withdraw new proposed carbon regulations for power plants, saying the costs of the rules will wreck the economy.
Obama’s climate team tries to calm Dems
Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill
President Obama’s climate team met with Senate Democrats behind closed doors on Tuesday to rally support for new emissions rules that have divided the party.
Japan applauds US climate rule
Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill
Japan called President Obama’s proposal to limit carbon emissions from power plants a bold step toward fighting climate change.
China warns Australia risks scuttlling global emissions trade
Stephen McDonell, Australian Broadcasting Corporation BC
The head of China’s most advanced carbon emissions exchange says Australia could scuttle the creation of a global system of carbon trading by dumping its scheme at a crucial time.
Behind the Mask – A Reality Check on China’s Plans for a Carbon Cap
Andrew C. Revkin, The New York Times
Having covered China’s stance on global warming since 1988, I’ve gotten attuned to the need to tread carefully when something is said that feels like a shift in the official position of this greenhouse gas giant.
New pollution rules should prove profitable for GE’s turbine business
Likely among the clear winners in the EPA’s new carbon framework will be engineering giants General Electric and Siemens; every utility that moves to overhaul a gas plant with more efficient turbines, or makes the bigger switch to natural gas from coal, could represent a customer for those companies’ high-efficiency turbines.
Germany considering Alstom stake via KfW for Siemens
The German government is considering buying a stake in Alstom (ALSMY) via its state-owned KfW development bank if Siemens’ proposal to create two European champions in rail and energy succeeds.
EMA’s 18th Annual Meeting
Join the Environmental Markets Association and environmental industry professional for two days of dynamic sessions, two nights of networking receptions, and countless opportunities to increase your business contacts.
October 22 – 24, 2014
Santa Monica, CA
CDP seeks to reveal true scale of carbon bubble risks
Jessica Shankleman, BusinessGreen
Nearly 800 investors have joined together to demand oil and gas companies reveal the devaluation risks their assets could face as a result of tough action on climate change to curb rising carbon emissions.
***LB: Also in this story “For the first time this year non-profit organisation CDP, representing 767 investors who combined hold more than a third of the world’s invested capital, will ask oil and gas companies to reveal their exposure to potentially unburnable fossil fuels.”
Third Québec carbon market auction – Demand exceeded supply
The Minister of Sustainable Development, the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change, David Heurtel, today released the results of Québec’s third auction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission units held on May 27. With the first joint auction with California just a few months away, the Québec system is proving its effectiveness.
Québec and California announce plans for joint auction of greenhouse gas emission allowances
The California Air Resources Board (ARB) and the ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques (Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight against Climate Change) (MDDELCC) of Québec today announced plans to conduct a joint practice auction for the California and Québec cap-and-trade programs.
Foxx: Obama transportation bill would protect environment
Keith Laing, The Hill
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said Tuesday that President Obama’s proposed $302 billion transportation funding bill will help protect the environment in addition to boosting federal spending on road and transit projects.
US EPA Gives Major Boost To Cap-And-Trade, But Not Offsets
Gloria Gonzalez and Ben McCarthy, Ecosystem Marketplace
For years, California and nine Northeastern states in the US remained committed to implementing and operating cap-and-trade programs aimed at reducing carbon emissions even in the face of significant political pushback against the use of market-based programs.
Natural gas / Coal
U.S. carbon plan to lift natgas demand – just don’t ask how much
Eileen O’Grady, Reuters
There is no question that landmark U.S. measures to slash carbon emissions from power plants over the next 15 years will boost demand for natural gas, an abundant, cleaner-burning alternative to coal.
The Potential Downside of Natural Gas
Matthew L. Wald, The New York Times
Conventional wisdom, strongly promoted by the natural gas industry, is that natural gas drives down American emissions of carbon dioxide, by substituting for carbon-rich coal.
***LB: Also in this story “natural gas is starting to replace nuclear power, which can be seen as wiping out about 10 percent of the savings, because a reactor has a carbon footprint of nearly zero”
German state allows Vattenfall to expand brown coal mining
Madeline Chambers, Reuters
The eastern German state of Brandenburg approved plans on Tuesday to allow utility Vattenfall to mine a further 200 million tonnes of brown coal from 2026, a move critics say will cause pollution and also force 800 people from their homes.
COLUMN-Asian coal miners, traders face up to grim realities
Clyde Russell, Reuters
“There is no skin left on my teeth to hang on with,” was the lament of a coal trader, expressing a sentiment echoed time and again at the industry’s largest gathering in Asia.
Pemex sells bulk of Repsol holding
Tobias Buck in Madrid and Jude Webber, Financial Times
Pemex, the Mexican state oil company, has sold most of its holding in Repsol, the Spanish energy group, in a move that draws a line under an increasingly fractious relationship and frees up some 2bn euros for Pemex to invest more productively as Mexico opens up its energy sector in a historic reform.
US to levy fresh tariffs on Chinese solar panels
Ed Crooks, Financial Times
The US plans to impose additional import duties of up to 35.2 per cent on Chinese-made solar panels in an escalation of the trade war in the industry that began in 2012.
Europe’s Power Supply Seen at Risk From Investment Dearth
Isis Almeida and Rachel Morison, Bloomberg
Europe is in jeopardy of running short of power because wholesale electricity prices are too low to encourage spending on new thermal plants, according to the International Energy Agency.
***LB: Also in this story “The region needs more than $2 trillion in power-industry investment by 2035 and about 100 gigawatts of new thermal capacity in the decade to 2025, the Paris-based IEA said”
Buffett’s $26 Billion Power Bet in West Seen Paying Off
Lynn Doan and Naureen S. Malik, Bloomberg
Warren Buffett’s $26 billion bet on western U.S. power plants, transmission lines and wind farms is poised to pay off.
BT calls up wind farm savings with £440m investment
Jessica Shankleman, BusinessGreen
BT’s plans to runs its operations purely on renewable energy will take another step forward today as it reveals a £440m investment in three wind farms across the UK.
Westermost Rough offshore wind farm hits latest milestone
Jessica Shankleman, BusinessGreen
Plans for a 35-turbine wind farm off the East Yorkshire coast have passed another milestone after Dong Energy confirmed it had installed an offshore substation in the North Sea.
NRG Energy close to buying north America’s largest wind farm-WSJ
NRG Energy Inc is close to a deal worth more than $800 million to buy Alta Wind Energy Center, the largest wind farm in North America, the Wall Street Journal reported citing people familiar with the matter.
Morrison & Foerster Represents Renewable Energy Developer BayWa r.e. in Securing Key Tax Equity Investment for Wind Farm in New Mexico
In a noteworthy renewable energy transaction, Morrison & Foerster has represented prominent California renewables firm BayWa r.e. Wind LLC in securing a key tax equity investment for a wind farm project in New Mexico (more info at:)
July deadline for Iran nuclear deal appears in jeopardy – envoys
Louis Charbonneau and Parisa Hafezi, Reuters
It is increasingly unlikely that six world powers and Iran will meet their July 20 deadline to negotiate a long-term deal for Iran to curb its nuclear program in return for an end to economic sanctions, diplomats and analysts say.
Tesla expands search for U.S. battery factory -CEO
Ben Klayman, Reuters
Tesla Motors Inc is now looking at three sites, instead of two, to begin construction for its lithium-ion battery plant in the United States, Chief Executive Elon Musk said on Tuesday.
Tesla’s Musk Says He Will Stay as CEO at Least Four to Five More Years
Mike Ramsey, The Wall Street Journal
Elon Musk said on Tuesday he plans to remain chief executive of electric-car maker Tesla Motors Inc. for at least another four to five years, and then reassess whether he would continue in the post.
Drought Drives Drilling Frenzy for Groundwater in California
Sasha Khokha, KQED
Steve Arthur practically lives out of his truck these days. But he’s not homeless. He runs one of Fresno’s busiest well drilling companies.
Water Stress Affects Fewer Cities Than Previously Thought
Circle of Blue
One in four large cities – those with more than 750,000 people – is water stressed, a figure lower than earlier estimates of 40 percent of cities, according to new research.
Health Experts See Benefits in Push to Cut Pollution
Denise Grady, The New York Times
The Obama administration contends that its new plan to cut carbon pollution from power plants will not just fight climate change, but will also quickly improve public health, preventing up to 100,000 asthma attacks and 2,100 heart attacks in the first year the rules take effect.
What do sustainable shareholders want from Washington?
Michael Kramer, GreenBiz.com
The recent annual U.S. Social Investment Forum conference, “Markets, Mission and Materiality,” allowed sustainable investors to meet with Congress and the SEC regarding issues of concern to shareholders.
A Paltry Start in Curbing Global Warming
Eduardo Porter, The New York Times
Tim Jackson, professor of sustainable development at the University of Surrey in Britain, uses a nifty back-of-the-envelope calculation to underscore the challenge of giving the world’s poor a shot at prosperity while preventing a global climate disaster.
Three new ozone-depleting gases discovered in atmosphere
More ozone-depleting gases have been identified in the atmosphere by scientists. Researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have found two new types of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and one new hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC).
***LB: Also in this story “researchers said it supported their argument that there were many more gases out there, which could have a cumulative impact”