Several congressional hearings on President Barack Obama’s fiscal year 2016 budget request for federal agencies are on the agenda for the week of March 2, including those covering the Environmental Protection Agency, Interior Department, Department of Transportation, Department of Defense, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the U.S. Forest Service.
If it were possible for the institutional memory of the United Nations climate negotiation process to be contained in a single person, that person probably would be Michael Zammit Cutajar.
On Feb. 25, House Energy and Commerce subcommittees on Energy and Power and Environment and the Economy will hold a hearing on President Barack Obama's fiscal year 2016 budget request for the Environmental Protection Agency.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s approach to enforcement, criticism of the agency’s power plant rule, President Barack Obama’s nominees and drought caused by climate change made up the top stories in Energy and Climate Report for the week ending Feb. 13.
During United Nations climate talks taking place in Geneva, I asked Christiana Figueres, the UN’s top climate change official, whether there was a chance that some parts of the oversized and cumbersome draft text produced might see some brackets removed or consolidated in negotiations before the talks end Feb. 13.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan and budget proposal, along with wind farms and the Keystone oil pipeline were among the top five Energy and Climate Report stories for the week ending Feb. 6.
House Republicans are expected to unveil an energy policy framework the week of Feb. 9 that will focus on modernizing energy infrastructure and the U.S. energy workforce and boosting energy efficiency, among other things.
International stories were the most read Energy and Climate Report stories for the week ending Jan. 30, including those covering developments in Mexico, India, France and China.
The Obama Administration is scheduled to release its fiscal year 2016 budget request Feb. 2, which is expected to propose an end to across-the-board spending cuts and fund domestic and defense priorities at levels exceeding sequestration caps.
Rep. Bob Goodlatte, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, spoke to Bloomberg BNA on his plans to move nearly a half-dozen deregulatory bills—to roll back environmental or other regulations seen as overly costly—in 2014 and the prospect of getting a permanent ban on local and state Internet taxes.
President Barack Obama on Tuesday night used his State of the Union address to once again push for U.S. action on climate change and tout his success in expanding clean energy, an agenda that faces deep skepticism from a Republican-controlled House and Senate. Obama, who has focused on climate change
A higher price estimate for the social cost of carbon dioxide was the top Energy and Climate Report story for the week ending Jan. 16.
The chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee unveiled plans Jan. 8 to craft comprehensive energy legislation, saying current energy policy needs to be “refreshed.”
The Senate plans to consider legislation (S. 1) to approve the Keystone XL pipeline during the week of Jan. 12 that could also include amendments to undermine Environmental Protection Agency proposed rules to limit carbon emissions from power plants and expedite natural gas exports.
Mary D. Nichols, chairman of the California Air Resources Board, spoke with Bloomberg BNA correspondent Carolyn Whetzel in Los Angeles Dec. 16 about the agency's air quality and climate policies.
Congress Over a 40-year congressional career, Rep. Henry
Waxman (D-Calif.) has been one of the nation's strongest advocates for
pollution prevention legislation and climate change action....
The United Nations’ Clean Development Mechanism, a plan to use market forces to curb greenhouse gas emissions that once was hailed as among the most important and resilient parts of the UN process...
Remarks by a Harvard law professor, a former Environmental
Protection Agency official and a nominee for the Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission over proposed carbon rules for power plants made up...
At the Lima climate talks Dec. 9, delegates at the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) negotiating track grappled with determining how countries in various stages of economic development will be divided and how their responsibilities will differ in the global agreement set to be finalized next year in Paris.
For the first time cellulosic ethanol producers have met and exceeded the Environmental Protection Agency's production predictions as part of the annual renewable fuel standard. The...
The Senate is expected to vote Nov. 18 on a bill (S. 2280)
that would authorize construction of the Keystone XL pipeline without the need
for presidential approval. The House passed
Risks to national security posed by a wind farm planned in Maryland was the most read Bloomberg BNA Energy and Climate Report story for the week ending Nov. 7.
President Barack Obama and China President Xi Jinping are
expected to talk about climate change when they meet next week following the
Nov. 10-12 Asia-Pacific Summit in Beijing. As covered in...
Here's a video of Bloomberg BNA's Senior Climate Reporter Dean Scott and Environment Reporter Anthony Adragna discussing how the midterm elections will impact the U.S. environment and energy agenda.
An interview with newly appointed Environmental Protection Agency Acting Deputy Administrator Stanley Meiburg, who came out of retirement after a 36-year career with the agency was the top Energy...
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres is the UN's top climate change official. In this editorial, written exclusively for Bloomberg BNA, Figueres describes some of the most pressing near- and long-term challenges the world faces as the UN process enters the home stretch for a universal 2015 global climate agreement.
The Nov. 4 mid-term elections-which may result in Republicans taking over the Senate-could energize Congress to roll back environmental regulations, seek approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline and end the oil-export ban.
The nuclear industry is lobbying to preserve and modify a tax credit that could be worth billions of dollars when new nuclear reactors under construction are placed in service amidst efforts by Republicans to end energy subsidies and an upcoming tax reform process that could place the tax incentive at risk.
A story covering court action over the Environmental Protection Agency's issuance of permits under the Clean Air Act for greenhouse gas emissions was the most read story for the week ending Oct. 24.
Stung by a drop in electricity demand, low natural gas prices and state renewable energy mandates, the nuclear power industry is touting the environmental benefits of its carbon-free power as it seeks a way to preserve the existing fleet of reactors and compete with lower-priced electricity generators.
The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is expected to approve a report, designed to present the best scientific and economic analysis to government leaders and policymakers worldwide, the week of Oct. 27 during meetings in Denmark.
Solar developers facing a 2016 deadline to complete projects in order to receive a key tax credit are beginning to cancel large projects, prompting the industry to launch an all-out push to extend...
Environmental advocates would like to support more Republican candidates for federal office, but the party's swing rightward, especially on environmental and energy issues, has made it more difficult to find acceptable candidates to endorse.
fracturing stories took the number one, three and four spots on the list of top
five Bloomberg BNA Energy and Climate Report stories for the week ending Oct.
17. Other stories covered...
The Inspector General of the U.S. Export Import Bank is investigating the bank's financing of a 4,000 megawatt coal-fired power plant that environmentalists say is associated with “catastrophic”...
The focus on energy and climate issues for the week of Oct. 20 will be in Europe, where nations will meet for the last time before a year-end climate summit, the European Union will unveil new greenhouse gas and energy reduction goals and the International Energy Agency will hold an advisory board meeting.
The Energy Department is moving forward with a long-delayed rule that would require new and renovated federal buildings to completely phase out the use of fossil fuels by 2030, a proposal that...
Commentary on a case before the Supreme Court that could affect regulatory interpretations by federal agencies was the top Energy and Climate Report story for the week ending Oct. 10. A story on environmental justice took the number two spot, followed by a report on the impact EPA rules could have on electrical generating capacity.
The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration will release
its U.S. Winter Outlook during a teleconference Oct. 16. The release will
include discussion on the latest forecast for El Nino and...
The top story for the week ending Oct. 3 covered remarks by the head of the Environmental Protection Agency on U.S. environmental challenges.
The Department of Energy faces an Oct. 7 deadline to respond to a House Energy and Commerce Committee request seeking records of discussions between the department and the Environmental Protection Agency relating to proposed carbon standards for new power plants.
As much as $12.6 billion in loan guarantees could be extended to help finance the next generation of nuclear energy technologies, the Department of Energy announced Sept. 30.
order requiring the Environmental Protection Agency to respond to a lawsuit
seeking to block carbon standards for existing power plants was the top story
in Bloomberg BNA’s Energy and...
The United Nation's Climate Summit will be held Sept. 23 in New York, which is being billed by a top UN official as "the largest gathering of global leaders in history on the subject of climate."
TransCanada Corp. chief executive officer Russ Girling told reporters Sept. 16 he is "frustrated" by critics of the Keystone pipeline who have cast the project as a symbol of increased greenhouse gas emissions and warming.
Advocates of a long-stalled energy efficiency bill are pushing the Senate to split the legislation up and act on components of the measure that were passed by the House earlier this year. The...
Interview with Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Environment and Economy Subcommittee Bloomberg BNA: We're seeing a lot of very...
How Environmental Protection Agency regulations are resulting in the use of the dirtiest U.S coal was the top Energy and Climate Report story for the week ending Sept. 12.
A package of energy and environmental bills that would speed approval of the Keystone XL pipeline and block EPA proposals to set greenhouse gas emissions limits for power plants is expected to be...
Legislation may be needed to address shortcomings in the Transportation Department's crude-by-rail safety rule, according to Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and other senior lawmakers.
Scientists recorded the largest single-year increase in carbon dioxide in 20 years in 2013, and total concentrations of the greenhouse gas are now set to cross the 400 parts-per-million mark as...
Protection Agency’s plan to issue a methane strategy this fall was the top
Energy and Climate Report story for the week ending Sept. 5. The number two
story covered an...
new state-sponsored bank in New Jersey soon will provide grants and loans for
making the state's critical infrastructure more resilient to power outages from
extreme weather events.
House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a hearing
Sept. 9 on “State Perspectives: Questions Concerning EPA’s Proposed Clean Power
covered in a...
Construction has begun on the stalled FutureGen 2.0 carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) project in western Illinois, according to project officials, but major hurdles remain for the $1.65 billion...
The Regional Greenhouse Gas
Initiative will hold its 25 th auction of carbon dioxide emissions allowances
As covered in a June 6 Energy and
Climate Report article ,...
The head of California's Senate has blocked a bill (A.B. 69) that would have delayed for three years expansion of the state's greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program to include distributors of...
Another lawsuit arguing that the Environmental Protection Agency doesn't have the authority to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from power plants was the top Energy and Climate Report story for the week ending Aug. 22.
Microsoft Corp. has left the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) because of concerns about the lobbying group's opposition to renewable energy, a coalition of activist investor groups said.
The departure of Environmental Protection Agency Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe and his replacement, Lisa Feldt, who be in an acting role, took the number one and three spots in the top stories list for Energy and Climate Report for the week ending Aug. 8.
The Environmental Protection Agency will be beginning the week of Aug. 11 with a new second leader in charge. As covered in a Aug. 7 article, Lisa Feldt, will replace the outgoing deputy...
Rep. Don Young (Alaska), a senior Republican on the House Natural Resources and House Transportation and Infrastructure committees, has joined with Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.) in launching an...
How the Environmental Protection Agency will apply Clean Air Act permit requirements to a facility's greenhouse gas emissions was the top story in Energy and Climate Report for the week ending Aug. 1. Stories on public hearings the agency held on its proposed carbon standards for existing power plants also took center stage, making up the second, fourth and fifth top story, while the third most read story covered a climate change resolution that failed in the Senate.
The White House will host a U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit Aug. 4-6 in Washington, which will include a "signature event" Aug. 4 on climate change, food security and resilience.
The Senate would prioritize passing legislation that would expedite the Energy Department's approval process for liquefied natural gas exports and authorize the Keystone XL oil pipeline if Republicans win control of the chamber this fall, Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) told Bloomberg BNA.
The top three stories in Energy and Climate Report for the week ending July 25 covered the Environmental Protection Agency's proposal to control carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, while the fourth and fifth top stories covered, respectively, the effects a warming planet may have on water infrastructure and military bases.
Ethanol producers are pushing back against their inclusion in a Transportation Department rule meant to address a fiery spate of crude-by-rail crashes, a decision the renewable fuel industry...
The Environmental Protection Agency will hold four, two-day public hearings on its proposed carbon dioxide standards for existing power plants in the week ahead. The hearings will be held July 29 and July 30 in Atlanta, Denver and Washington D.C., and July 31 and Aug. 1 in Pittsburgh.
Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, plans to take another stab at moving legislation that would alter the renewable fuel standard in 2015, a Republican committee aide said July 24.
A law professor's call for the control of fugitive methane emitted by hydraulic fracturing was the most read story in Energy and Climate Report for the week ending July 14. The second and third top stories concerned the Environmental Protection Agency's carbon rule for power plants. Rounding out the top five were stories on a plan by the Obama administration to help communities adapt to climate change and the opening of a public comment period on EPA proposals to control methane emissions from landfills.
On July 23, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy is scheduled to testify before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee during a hearing on "EPA's Proposed Carbon...
Legislation to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank may be brought to the Senate floor without a provision that would reverse bank policy limiting the financing of overseas coal projects, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) told Bloomberg BNA July 16.
The release of guidelines by industry to address public concerns over fracking was the top Energy and Climate Report story for the week ending July 11. Other top stories covered a briefing with senators by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy over carbon rules, the withdrawal by President Barack Obama of his nominee for a top Energy Department post, an EPA rule to curtail the use hydrofluorocarbons and a White House meeting with the insurance industry over climate adaptation.
Environmental groups are urging Congress to oppose legislation that would reauthorize the Export-Import Bank amidst a fight over a provision that would reverse bank policy limiting the financing...
A fiscal year 2015 bill to fund the Interior Department, the Environmental Protection Agency and related agencies is scheduled to be marked up July 15 by the House Appropriations Committee.
The Energy Department would continue to be barred from enforcing energy efficiency standards for incandescent light bulbs under an amendment planned for energy and water appropriations legislation...
The economic effect of the Environmental Protection Agency's carbon rules for power plants was the subject of the top two stories in Energy and Climate Report for the week ending July 4. Rounding...
A $34 billion energy and water appropriations bill (H.R. 4923) is expected to be considered by the House floor the week of July 7.
The Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) said records it obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request show that a regional energy plan among New England governors favors large gas pipeline and electricity transmission line expansion projects at the expense of the environment.
While Congress takes its Fourth of July recess the week of June 30, NASA is scheduled to launch its first satellite dedicated to measuring carbon dioxide levels in the Earth's atmosphere July 1.
The Senate will vote on Federal Energy Regulatory Commission nominees Cheryl LaFleur and Norman Bay when the Senate returns from its Fourth of July recess, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told Bloomberg BNA.
Defense Department spending on biofuels, electric vehicles, solar panels and other “green energy” programs advocated by the Obama administration would be prohibited under a $570 billion bill funding Pentagon operations for fiscal year 2015 that the House passed June 20.
All the top five stories in Energy and Climate Report for the week ending June 30 covered the Environmental Protection Agency's proposal to curtail carbon dioxide emissions from existing power 30 percent by 2030 compared to 2005 levels.
The House is scheduled to vote the week of June 23 on a trio of bills that would expand oil and natural gas drilling (H.R. 4899), expedite the review of applications to export liquefied natural gas (H.R. 6) and speed the review of the Keystone XL pipeline (H.R. 3301).
The world's nations are now within 500 days of gathering in Paris to hammer out the details of the world's first global agreement designed to confront climate change. But delegates at the...
Climate change should not be a partisan issue, Obama said. He cited Republican leaders like Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and former President George H.W. Bush, who previously urged action to address climate change “before the Tea Party decided it was a massive threat to freedom and liberty.”
1. Michigan Farmer Earns First Climate Offsets For Cutting Nitrogen Use in Corn Production 2. EPA Air Official Says Agency Proposed Reasonable State Emissions Targets 3. EPA Power...
The Environmental Protection Agency's assistant administrator for air and radiation will face skeptical Republicans during a House subcommittee hearing June 19 on the agency's proposed carbon...
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-Va.) shocking defeat will shake up the chamber’s leadership but is unlikely to impact how Congress approaches issues like climate change and other environmental...
Senate Democrats sought this week to draw Republicans into a debate on the chamber floor on the need for congressional action to tackle climate change, but they came away largely empty-handed as all but one Republican declined the offer.
President Barack Obama's plan to curtail carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants was the subject of the five top Energy and Climate Report stories for the week ending June 6, with...
Senate Democrats will set aside several hours of floor time June 9 in hopes of enticing their Republican colleagues to discuss climate change issues, one week after the Obama administration unveiled its proposal to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants.
June 5 — Private-sector carbon credit reduction donations have already offset 30 percent of the estimated carbon emissions to be generated by the upcoming 2014 World Cup soccer tournament, an Environment Ministry official told Bloomberg BNA.
President Barack Obama's plan to cut nearly one-third of power plant greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 should make the U.S. more ambitious in offering emissions cuts toward a 2015 global climate...
Personal liability that corporate leaders could face if they are involved in denying climate change was the top story in Energy and Climate Report for the week ending May 30.
On June 2, the Environmental Protection Agency is expected to announce a proposed rule to control carbon dioxide emissions from existing coal-fired power plants.
Carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere topped 400 parts per million in the Northern Hemisphere for the entire month of April, according to the World Meteorological Organization.
Upcoming proposed Environmental Protection Agency regulations that would curb carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants and might allow facilities to go beyond the fence line to make emissions reductions was the top Energy and Climate Report story for the week ending May 23.
On May 29, the House Science, Space and Technology Committee will hold a hering on "Examing the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Proecess." Witnesses scheduled to testify include...
Lisa Jacobson, president of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, talks about the key findings in the 2014 edition of the “Sustainable Energy in America Factbook,” which the Council produced in collaboration with Bloomberg New Energy Finance, a subsidiary of Bloomberg BNA's parent company, Bloomberg LP.
Remarks by the head of the Environmental Protection Agency Gina McCarthy over carbon dioxide limits for existing power plants was the top story in Energy and Climate Report for the week ending...
A an energy tax incentives bill, which is in limbo after it failed to clear a procedural vote in the Senate May 15, may be revived in by the Senate Finance Committee May 20, the committee's chiar...
President Barack Obama views addressing the problem of climate change as a key part of his legacy and remains staunchly committed to implementing as much of his climate action plan as possible...
The National Climate Assessment took center stage in the top five Energy and Climate and Energy Report stories ending the week of May 9. 1. U.S. Issues Loudest, Clearest Alarm Bell on Climate...
The Association of Climate Change Officers will hold a "Climate Strategies Forum" May 12-14 in Washington. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and John Holdren, who directs the White House Office of...
May 6 — Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), who is retiring after nearly four decades in the House and was instrumental in getting passage of many key environmental laws, said May 6 that climate change...
Speculation on legal challenges to the Environmental Protection Agency's power plant rule to control carbon dioxide emissions was the subject of the top Energy and Climate Report story for the week ending May 2, followed by one covering remarks by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy against those that question the science behind rulemakings.
The Energy Department is proceeding with "active review" of an application for a loan guarantee by Cape Wind Associates LLC after a federal court decision in March upholding the Interior Department's approval of the company's proposed $2.6 billion wind farm, the head of the DOE loan guarantee program said.
The California Air Resources Board will meet April 25 to consider amendments to the state's cap on greenhouse gas emissions and market-based compliance mechanisms, including the compliance offset...
Revenue from California's greenhouse gas emissions trading program would be used as a permanent source of funding for affordable housing, water efficiency projects and a variety of transportation...
The first and second of the top five most read Energy and Climate Report stories for the week ending April 11 covered the Environmental Protection Agency's carbon standards for existing power plants.
Senate energy efficiency legislation backed by companies such as the Dow Chemical Co. and investor-owned utility National Grid could be brought back to the floor in May, the legislation's sponsor...
Sen. Joe Manchin, one of the most moderate Democrats in the Senate, believes both parties need to put aside ideological differences to find a way to address climate change while also protecting the...
The Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) will likely release the first strategic plan for the office in 12 years during the week of April 14, an EERE official...
The Environmental Protection Agency plans to develop a new program to recognize ports for their sustainability efforts, which could ultimately influence multinational corporations' shipping...
Regulations to control carbon dioxide and methane emissions were among the top four Energy and Climate Report stories for the week ending April 4, while the fifth most read story covered a United Nations climate change report.
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy will testify April 9 before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior and Environment on the agency's 2015 fiscal year...
After five days of talks, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change presented the Working Group II report March 31 in Yokohama, Japan. The new document, the second of three parts that will combine to become the IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report, is the most comprehensive collection of data so far on the impacts and vulnerabilities the world faces from climate change.
Court actions involving the Environmental Protection Agency made up the top two Energy and Climate Report stories for the week ending March 28. Other top stories covered pollution control costs and a reported 2 degree temperature increase in Colorado.
Wash. Gov. Jay Inslee (D) will be the featured speaker at this event on "Climate Action Goes to Washington (State): Energy Solutions in the Pacific Northwest." Sponsored by Bloomberg BNA, in...
On April 2, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a hearing on the Environmental Protection Agency's budget request for fiscal year 2015.
March 26 - California's climate policies have been moving forward despite lawsuits challenging programs being implemented under the state's Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (A.B. 32),...
The Netherlands joined an initiative of the U.S. and several other nations for a pledge to end the public financing of new coal-fired power plants overseas, as the Dutch prime minister joined with President Barack Obama in reaffirming both nations' commitment to addressing climate change.
Expressing concern about what it views as stubborn public skepticism regarding the causes and risks of climate change, the world's largest scientific society said March 18 it is stepping more...
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold an oversight hearing March 26 on the Environmental Protection Agency's fiscal year 2015 budget.
March 20 — States have begun preparing a variety of potential approaches for complying with the Environmental Protection Agency's final regulations on carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants, and panelists at an energy event said people should keep open minds on unconventional ways of meeting the standards.
Expressing concern about what it views as stubborn public skepticism regarding the causes and risks of climate change, the world's largest scientific society said March 18 it is stepping more forcefully into the policy debate and will call directly for cuts in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
Remarks by top federal officials related to climate change or energy, and the Senate's all-night session to urge climate change action made up the top five "Energy and Climate Report" stories...
European Union leaders will meet March 20-21 in Brussels to discuss an end-of-year deadline for a decision on a climate and energy strategy for 2030. As detailed in a March 12 "Energy and...
March 12 — The U.S. has made progress at addressing climate change, but additional technologies are needed to promote the use of abundant energy resources while combating emissions, Sen. Lisa...
March 12 — With the first United Nations climate negotiations of the year at their halfway point, negotiators are grappling with many key issues related to the form, scope and ambition of the 2015 global agreement to confront climate change.
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) told Bloomberg BNA he plans to hold a field hearing April 22 in Miami Beach with members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on the effects of...
One by one, nearly 30 Senate Democrats came to the Senate floor last night in what they touted as an all-nighter on climate change, a mix of policy speeches and political theater that sought to...
March 7 — Nearly 30 Democratic and Independent senators are expected to participate in an all-night session on the Senate floor discussing the need to act to address climate change from the...
The top story for the week ending March 7 was on the appointment of a new general counsel for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, followed by three stories related to the regulation of carbon dioxide from power plants and a fifth story on a Defense Department review warning of threats posed by climate change.
The first international climate talks of 2014 will be held March 10-14 in Bonn during which the U.S. and the European Union may clash over key issues, including the length of a future treaty and how to monitor, report and verify greenhouse gas emissions.
March 4 — President Barack Obama's fiscal year 2015 budget request calls for a new $1 billion climate resilience fund, which the president first announced in February to help coastal...
Oral arguments before the Supreme Court over greenhouse gas emissions made up the top three most read
Energy and Climate Report
stories, followed by a report that answers common questions on climate science and the urging by the head of the Environmental Protection Agency to keep an open mind on carbon limits for power plants.
Feb. 27 — The models used by a federal interagency working group to determine the value regulators will use to determine the cost of carbon dioxide emissions hasn't been adequately peer reviewed,...
A $1 billion package to help communities prepare for the impacts of climate change, as exemplified by severe weather events, is expected to be included in President Barack Obama's Fiscal 2015 budget request to be submitted to Congress March 4.
Feb. 25 — A nonprofit standards-setting organization released voluntary guidelines Feb. 25 to help commercial banks, insurance companies and others in the financial sector report on relevant sustainability issues in annual filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Feb. 21 — Microsoft, Shell, Disney and 38 other companies representing more than $1.4 trillion in revenue have come together to launch an online hub to help make the business case for putting a price on natural resources.
Senate energy efficiency legislation likely to be reintroduced the week of Feb. 24 will include a measure that would block a requirement that federal buildings phase out fossil fuel use, among other Republican-backed amendments, according to industry groups and others monitoring the bill.
1. Supreme Court Could Clarify Authority of EPA to Regulate Greenhouse Gases This Feb. 19 story previews oral arguments heard by the Supreme Court Feb. 24 in a lawsuit challenging the...
On Feb. 24, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a lawsuit challenging the Environmental Protection Agency's greenhouse gas permitting requirements under the Clean Air Act for stationary sources.
Feb. 19 — The U.S. Supreme Court won't address the Environmental Protection Agency's fundamental authority to regulate greenhouse gases during oral arguments Feb. 24, but lawsuits challenging the...
Illinois led the nation in 2013 with the most building space per capita certified to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building standard, according to a ranking...
Feb. 14 —
Senate Democrats appear poised to take their first action to raise the
national profile of the issue of climate change and urge action with an
all-night floor session sometime in...
@BBNAclimate For more information on Energy and Climate Report , including a free trial subscription, click here . To sign up for email highlights, click here ....
President Barack Obama will travel to Mexico on Feb. 19 to meet with the president of Mexico and the prime minister of Canada and discuss trade and investment issues. Meeting of National...
Feb. 10 — Labor leaders are among those urging significant federal investments in water, energy and waste infrastructure as a way to promote job creation and protect from the impacts of climate...
The top Energy and Climate Report stories for the week of Jan. 3-7 revolved around highly controversial Clean Air Act new source performance standards the Environmental Protection Agency...
Feb. 6 — The Securities and Exchange Commission isn't doing enough to enforce its requirement for corporate reporting on climate risk, according to a Ceres report. The new report said the majority...
In the week ahead, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) is expected to become chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. As detailed in a Feb. 6 Energy and Climate Report , article ...
The Senate climate change caucus formed, in part, to defend President Obama's climate plan, and efforts to limit carbon dioxide emissions from power plants will offer some insights into its strategy next week, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) told Bloomberg BNA Feb. 4.
Feb. 3 — Energy efficiency requirements for external power supplies used by cell phones, laptop computers, video game consoles and other electronics will increase or be set for the first time...
The top five most read stories in Energy and Climate Report for the week of Jan. 27-31, listed below, cover ways President Barack Obama can or should address climate and energy issues, a hefty fine...
The Environmental Protection Agency will hold a hearing Feb. 6 in Washington on proposed new source performance standards that would limit carbon dioxide from new power plants.
A pair of bills signed by President Obama to streamline the approval process for small hydropower facilities has led to an increase in project investment and calls by proponents for more legislative fixes.
President Barack Obama in his State of the Union address Jan. 28 stood firmly behind his plan to set carbon limits for power plants and other steps to address climate change, adding that “the debate is settled” over whether human activity is warming the planet.
As President Barack Obama prepared to deliver his State of the Union address, advocates of greenhouse gas reductions urged the president to turn up the pressure on Congress to pass climate change legislation while demonstrating his willingness to act alone in the face of congressional inaction.
Energy and Climate Report
stories related to carbon capture and storage technology, greenhouse gas regulations and statements by EPA officials regarding climate change were the top five for Jan. 20-24.
Will President Barack Obama highlight clean energy and climate issues during his State of the Union address Jan. 28? It appears likely, given the urgency he cited in unveiling his Climate Action Plan in June of last year.
Bloomberg BNA reporter Anthony Adragna sat down with Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) in his office Jan. 17 to discuss the climate change agenda in the coming year. According to Whitehouse, forthcoming EPA regulations on power plant emissions could open a new window for action on carbon legislation. He also said some Republican senators believe in climate change but are afraid to speak publicly for fear of reprisal, and the U.S. has been the “weak link” in negotiating an international treaty.
Here's a look at the top five
Energy and Climate Report
stories for the week of Jan. 13-17.
EPA Assertions on Carbon Capture Viability Sparked Concerns by White House Officials
This Jan. 10 article covers concerns by White House officials over the Environmental Protection Agency's assertions that carbon capture and sequestration technology is a "viable technology" for new power plants to install to meet greenhouse gas emissions limits in a proposed new source performance standard.
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy is scheduled to attend the World Economic Forum Jan. 22-25 in Davos, Switzerland.
Senators on a new caucus that aims to push for action on climate change and defend President Barack Obama's efforts on the issue met for the first time Jan. 16 to discuss strategy, including some possible legislative initiatives.
In a bid to shore up their defense of President Barack Obama's efforts to put limits on U.S. power plant greenhouse gas emissions, 17 Democrats and two independents launched a new Senate caucus this week to begin the long journey to resurrect climate legislation.
Analysts are divided over how an administrationwide review of energy policy that will focus on energy infrastructure might affect the Obama administration's decision on whether to approve the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline.
1). White House Adviser Takes on Skeptics, Says Rising Temperatures Make Cold Spells Likely This Jan. 8 Energy and Climate article covers White House Office of Science and Technology Policy...
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy will testify Jan. 16 before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on the agency's efforts to limit carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and implement other policy initiatives to carry out President Barack Obama's climate change action plan.
The top White House science adviser posted this video Jan. 8 pushing back against climate science skeptics who argue that this week's cold spell proves that global warming is a hoax.
Bloomberg BNA reporters Dean Scott and Anthony Adragna sat down with Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) in his office Dec. 19 to discuss his new compromise to revamp the federal renewable fuel mandate.
Climate change will be high on the Environmental Protection Agency's agenda in 2014, while adaptation efforts will take on more urgency, emissions trading will cross North American borders and countries will continue to work toward a global climate agreement.
The Senate is expected the week of Dec. 16 to consider a compromise Defense Department authorization bill approved by the House that retains restrictions on the military's use of biofuels. As covered in a Dec. 9 Energy and Climate Report
, the National Defense Authorization Act codifies DOD policy that biofuels purchased in bulk by the Pentagon "have to be bought at competitive prices."
On Dec. 9, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy will begin a four-day visit to China to discuss U.S.-China cooperation on climate change, air quality and other environmental challenges. As covered in a Dec. 5
Energy and Climate Report
, McCarthy's agenda includes leading a meeting of the China-U.S. Joint Committee on Environmental Cooperation, launched in 2005.
The Environmental Protection Agency will hold a public hearing Dec. 5 in Arlington, Va., on its proposed renewable fuel standard for 2014. As detailed in a Nov. 19
Energy and Climate Report
, the standard, proposed Nov. 15, would require petroleum refiners to blend 15.21 billion gallons of renewable fuels into their products in 2014. That is down from the 18.15 billion gallons required by the Energy Independence and Security Act.
With a flurry of activity in a 24-hour overtime period, the Warsaw climate talks managed an outcome COP President Marcin Korolec declared a success. But it will have to be a qualified success.
Climate negotiators from more than 190 nations may still be far apart at the Warsaw talks that aim to lay the groundwork for a final 2015 Paris deal. But some are already looking ahead to traversing increasingly more difficult terrain over the next two years, including deciding exactly when nations have to essentially make an opening bid on how deeply they can cut greenhouse gas emissions after 2020.
The president of the next UN climate summit, Peruvian Minister of Environment Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, says the fate of the planned 2015 global agreement on climate change will depend largely on what is accomplished next year at the Conference of the Parties in Lima. He spoke to Bloomberg BNA about the challenges ahead on the sidelines of the Warsaw talks on Friday.
WARSAW--Negotiators arrived Friday for the final day of two-week climate talks staring at a chasm of issues that still split developed and developing countries but none more pressing than the billions of dollars poor nations want now for the loss and damage already suffered due to climate change. Whether the Nov. 11-22 UN talks will end in Warsaw tonight is anyone's guess-they have spilled past the final Friday of the negotiations into the weekend for years now. But the halls between negotiating rooms were eerily quiet today after a walkout yesterday by 800 or so members of environmental and trade union groups over what they see as indifference by developed nations to the damages caused mostly by their greenhouse gas emissions, which are the bulk of what is now in the atmosphere.
The European Parliament's Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety will meet Nov. 27 in Brussels during which European Union lawmaker Peter Liese plans to propose changes to a draft law on greenhouse gas emissions from airlines to shorten the period in which curbs on international carriers are limited to the bloc's airspace.
Another day at the Warsaw climate talks, another walkout. More than 800 representatives of nongovernmental groups walked out of the United Nations climate talks Thursday to protest a lack of progress on key issues since the summit started Nov. 11.
The U.S., Norway and the U.K. have pledged a total of nearly $300 million to cut greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and support more sustainable agriculture.
A day of high drama Wednesday at the United Nations climate talks in Warsaw helped call attention to two key areas.
A coalition of solar, wind, and other renewable energy associations said Nov. 19 that renewable sources could provide as much as half of the global energy needed by 2035, arguing that such ambitious growth is one of the few options for halting rapidly escalating global temperatures while meeting increasing energy demand.
Several groups Tuesday called for the UN to ban organizations representing high-polluting industries from lobbying during or sponsoring multilateral climate change or environmental negotiations. But the organization's secretary-general nipped the idea in the bud.
Christiana Figueres, the UN's top climate change official, told the World Coal Association's annual meeting in Warsaw Nov. 18 that coal companies should "rapidly and radically" remake their business model to be part of the solution as the world seeks to lower greenhouse gas emissions and keep a rise in global temperatures to less than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) compared to pre-industrial levels.
United Nations climate negotiators from more than 190 countries are expected to wrap up talks Nov. 22 in Warsaw aimed at crafting a treaty to be signed in 2015 in Paris that will limit greenhouse gas emissions worldwide and replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The deal is meant to come into force in 2020.
A one-two set of blows from Asia has dominated the United Nations climate talks in Warsaw as they approach Saturday's halfway point--Japan's lowered target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the typhoon in the Philippines.
International negotiators have begun meeting in Poland in hopes of making progress on a global climate change agreement, even as a devastating typhoon in the Philippines triggered renewed calls...
Delegates from more than 190 nations will begin two weeks of negotiations Nov. 11 in Warsaw to come up with a road map for finalizing a climate agreement in 2015 in Paris to go into effect in 2020.
The Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Oversight will hold a hearing Nov. 5 on "Fugitive Methane Emissions From Oil and Gas Operations." As covered in a May 3
Energy and Climate Report
, industry and 13 states urged the Environmental Protection Agency in a letter to forgo regulations on methane emissions from oil and gas facilities. The letter claimed the EPA has historically issued standards under the Clean Air Act for only criteria pollutants such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and lead.
How will carbon dioxide regulations proposed by Environmental Protection Agency impact jobs in coal-dependent states and how technology to capture carbon is evolving are among the questions House subcommittees will hold hearings on the week of Oct. 28.
The Environmental Protection Agency is scheduled to hold two listening sessions Oct. 23 in New York City and Atlanta on a proposed rule to regulate carbon dioxide emissions under the Clean Air Act from existing power plants that are expected to be proposed in June 2014.
The U.S. Supreme Court's decision Oct. 15 to review the Environmental Protection Agency's greenhouse gas permitting requirements also affirmed the agency's fundamental Clean Air Act authority to address climate change.
The California Air Resources Board will hold a public workshop Oct. 15 in Sacramento to solicit input on its strategy to achieve the state's greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals that calls for a new round of climate and clean air policies and regulations in all major industrial sectors.
The U.S. Supreme Court may decide as soon as Oct. 7 whether it will hear challenges raised by states and industry groups over greenhouse gas emissions rules issued by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Whatever doubts may have existed among members of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that the world's changing temperatures are related to human activity have virtually disappeared, according to a final draft report released Sept. 30 by an IPCC working group.
The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will hold a hearing Oct. 1 to consider a bill that would implement an agreement between the U.S. and Mexico to allow for the development of oil and gas reservoirs that cross the international maritime boundary between the two countries in the Gulf of Mexico (S. 812).
The Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to require new coal-fired power plants to install carbon capture systems as part of its carbon dioxide new source performance standards threw a spotlight on Southern Co.’s Kemper power plant project.
Senior Republicans and several coal state Democrats appear poised through legislation to do battle over newly announced carbon emissions limits for future power plants.
The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power is expected to hold a hearing the week of Sept. 23 on the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed rule issued under the Clean Air Act to control carbon dioxide emissions from new power plants.
The Senate is expected to continue its consideration of an energy efficiency bill Sept. 16. The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (S. 1392) was stalled last week over Republican efforts to block health provisions of the Affordable Care Act, largely referred to as Obamacare.
While the Senate pushes aside floor consideration of an energy efficiency bill the week of Sept. 9 to debate military action in Syria, the Environmental Protection Agency's plan to use the Clean Air Act to regulate carbon emissions from existing power plants will take center stage on the energy and climate front.
President Obama's Climate Change Plan will be among the issues Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz will discuss Aug. 26 in New York at an
hosted by the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University. Moniz, in remarks covered in a May 22
Energy and Climate Report
, said addressing climate change will be one of the Energy Department's top priorities. "Moving forward on climate, I think, is enormously important and, frankly, was in some sense the clincher for me certainly to want to come back [to DOE] and be part of advancing the agenda," he said. "Clearly, this department is in the middle of it."
The capture of methane from mines and the cultivation of rice to offset heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions will be discussed Aug. 19 at a California Air Resources Board workshop in Sacramento. Under CARB's economywide cap-and-trade program, offset credits may be used by companies to meet greenhouse gas remission caps through reductions occurring outside their facilities.
The growing green building industry in the United States is projected to account for more than half of all commercial and institutional construction by 2016, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) said in a new report.
Greenhouse gas emission allowances will be up for sale in California as the Air Resources Board holds its fourth quarterly auction Aug. 16 as part of its economywide cap-and trade program. As detailed in an
Energy and Climate Report
, during the last auction of vintage 2013 allowances that was held May 16, 14.5 million were sold at a settlement price of $14 a ton. The price was up slightly from the Feb. 19 auction's clearing price of $13.62 a ton and the $10.09 settlement price in the initial sale last Nov. 19.
While Congress has left Washington, D.C., for its August recess, New York will hold a “pre-proposal session” Aug. 7 on a request for bids for a study on how lower Manhattan can be protected by the impacts of climate change through the development of a “Seaport City.”
The authors of bipartisan energy efficiency legislation introduced a dramatically scaled-back version of the bill July 30. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) have struck from the bill a title that would have established a program to finance commercial building efficiency improvements "due to late concerns raised."
A 34 percent reduction in the Environmental Protection Agency's budget in a spending bill that is viewed by Republican sponsors as intended to "serve as a check" on the agency's ability to regulate industry may be considered by the House Appropriations Committee the week of July 29.
As detailed in a July 23
Energy and Climate Report
, while Republicans claim that such spending cuts are necessary to address the federal government's nearly $17 trillion debt, Democrats call the cuts an "industry wish list" in that riders would prevent EPA from moving forward with Clean Air Act regulations to control carbon dioxide emissions from existing and new power plants, along with many other environmental initiatives.
Congressional hearings are frequently a matter of theater. Democrats and Republicans hand pick witnesses to bolster the case they choose to make and then try to catch the opposition's experts w
ith a series of gotcha questions.
Both Houses of Congress are expected to turn their attention in the week ahead to amending or repealing the renewable fuel standard. While the Senate has not set a hearing date as of July 19, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold hearings July 23-24 on "An Overview of the Renewable Fuel Standard: Stakeholder’s Perspectives."
The Senate may hold a vote as soon as July 16 on Gina McCarthy, President Obama's nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency.
As detailed in a July 11
Energy and Climate Report
, the date was announced after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) filed a cloture motion for McCarthy and six other stalled nominees for federal positions.
As he filed for cloture, Reid threatened to move forward with the so-called nuclear option changing Senate rules to allow nominations to be confirmed with just 51 votes-if Republicans try to block the nominations.
Reid took to the Senate floor July 11 complaining that Republican obstructionism has been holding up nominees, including McCarthy, who was nominated by Obama more than four months ago.
The Week Ahead blog covering the week of July 8 will not be published. The next blog will be cover the week of July 15.
President Obama this week unveiled a broad national plan for addressing climate change that would regulate carbon emissions from both new and existing power plants for the first time.
As Lithuania begins its six-month term July 1 as president of the Council of the European Union, leaders of the Baltic country say ensuring affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy will be high on the agenda.
Holding the Council presidency means setting agendas and steering debates on mainly budgetary, economic, and societal matters for member countries, which will now number 28 after Croatia's ascension, effective July 1.
President Obama plans to lay out his vision of what the United States must do to address and adapt to climate change in a June 25 speech at Georgetown University. "We need a national plan to reduce our emissions and prepare our country for the impacts of climate change," Obama said June 22 in a White House
. He said the United States needs to lead global efforts to fight climate change and called for a new clean energy economy.
Energy Department Secretary Ernest Moniz will testify June 18 before the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee on DOE's science and technology priorities.
As detailed in a May 21
Energy and Climate Report
, Moniz, who formerly headed the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's energy program, said his agenda, among other things, will include promoting "American leadership" in science and clean energy technology innovation.
Christopher Grundler, director of EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality, was seeking a little clarification June 5 when Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) insisted that implementing the renewable fuel standard will cause an impending economic “train wreck.”
A defense funding bill that includes controversial restrictions on the Pentagon's ability to produce and procure biofuels unless their cost is "equivalent to conventional fuels" is expected to be brought to the House floor the week of June 10.
As detailed in a June 6 Energy and Climate Report
, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal year 2014 (H.R. 1960) would also prohibit the military from pursuing Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) efficiency building standards unless the investment is fully offset by the amount of energy conserved.
[BNA's climate blog has taken a closer look at U.S. regions covered in the draft National Climate Assessment. In addition to Hawaii and U.S Affiliated Pacific Islands, regions covered in the assessment include the
Southeast and Caribbean
Alaska and the Arctic
Sea-level rise, ocean acidification, and other stressors related to climate change likely will force populations living in low-lying areas in Hawaii and on other Pacific Islands to migrate to higher elevations and continents, according to the draft
National Climate Assessment
International U.N. climate negotiations will resume June 3 in Bonn with a goal of establishing a pathway for an agreement in 2015 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The talks, which will run through June 14, are the last formal negotiations before the 19th Conference of the Parties (COP-19) to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change that will take place in Warsaw, Poland, Nov. 11-22.
At last year's COP-18 summit in Doha, Qatar, negotiators agreed to launch two "work streams" on the scope and structure of a global deal that would require all nations to commit by 2015 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The agreement would go into effect in 2020 after ratification.
As Congress takes its Memorial Day recess in the week ahead, the California Energy Commission will hold a workshop May 30 on electricity and natural gas demand forecasts for 2014-2024. The...
The Global Reporting Initiative, the organization that develops the most widely used sustainability reporting framework in the world, released an updated version of the guidelines May 22. The G4...
[In the weeks ahead, BNA's climate blog will take a closer look at U.S. regions covered in the draft National Climate Assessment. In addition to Alaska, regions covered in the assessment include the Southeast and Caribbean, Great Plains, Northeast, Northwest, Midwest, Southwest, Alaska and the Arctic, and Hawaii and U.S. Affiliated Pacific States.]
House Republican leaders plan to bring a bill to fast-track the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline to the floor for a vote the week of May 20 before Congress heads home for its Memorial Day recess.
Despite public pleas from President Obama for legislative action on climate change this year, Congress is not moving quickly on legislation and prospects for passage remain dim in the...
The Department of Defense, once known as one of the nation's largest polluters, is turning to sustainability to reduce ballooning energy costs and the logistical risks of transporting fuel in combat zones.
This year's first full round of U.N. climate change negotiations will take place April 29-May 3 in Bonn amid hopes that negotiators will make progress toward reaching an international agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions beginning in 2020.
Walmart added nearly 100 renewable energy projects in 2012 and now has more
than 280 globally, a company sustainability executive said
[In the weeks ahead, BNA’s climate blog will take a closer look at U.S. regions covered in the draft National Climate Assessment. In addition to the Northwest, regions covered in the assessment include the Southeast and Caribbean, Great Plains, Northeast, Midwest, Southwest, Alaska and the Arctic, and Hawaii and U.S. Affiliated Pacific States.]
The Senate may hold a floor vote the week of April 22 on whether to confirm nominee Ernest Moniz to be Department of Energy Secretary. He is expected to be confirmed.
As detailed in an April 18
Energy and Climate Report
covering his approval by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Moniz said he supports renewable energy as well as the nation's "stunning" boom in domestic natural gas and oil production.
Moniz, who serves as head of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Energy Program, said if confirmed, he would help implement a broad review of national energy policy that likely would affect DOE's research and development budget.
Legislation to circumvent the need for presidential approval of the Keystone XL pipeline to carry oil derived from Canadian tar sands to refineries in Texas is expected to be marked up by the House Energy and Commerce Committee the week of April 15.
As detailed in an April 4
Energy and Climate Report
, the Northern Route Approval Act (H.R. 3) has been put on the fast track, with a floor vote expected before the Memorial Day recess in May.
The ethanol and petroleum industries have traditionally been at odds over EPA’s renewable fuel standard, but the adversaries found themselves on the same page when they both asked the agency this week to reduce the cellulosic ethanol blending requirement for 2013.
Climate change poses a significant risk to water, which is the most "precious" resource in the Southwest, according to the draft
National Climate Assessment
. The region also will continue to be plagued by an increasing number of wildfires posing increased risks to communities across extensive areas.
President Obama's nominees to head the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency will testify April 9 and April 11, respectively, during Senate confirmation hearings.
Ernest J. Moniz, a nuclear physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is slated to replace DOE Secretary Steven Chu.
Gina McCarthy, EPA assistant administrator for air and radiation, was nominated to take over for EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.
While Congress remains out of session for the second week of the spring state and district work period, the Environmental Protection Agency faces an April 5 deadline set by the House Energy and Commerce Committee to explain what climate change actions it expects to take during the rest of President Obama's second term.
With the U.S. Congress out of session on spring state and district work periods until April 8, the energy and climate focus for the week of March 25 will be on a high-level international meeting on aviation emissions, an Environmental Protection Agency seminar on energy efficiency subsidies, and a meeting in California to discuss sea-level rise.
[In the weeks ahead, BNA’s climate blog will take a closer look at U.S. regions covered in the draft National Climate Assessment. In addition to the Great Plains, regions covered in the assessment...
On March 14, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold an oversight hearing on “America’s Onshore Energy Resources: Creating Jobs, Securing America, and...
[In the weeks ahead, BNA’s climate blog will take a closer look at U.S. regions covered in the draft National Climate Assessment. In addition to the Midwest, regions covered in the assessment...
What’s the "hook" some sustainability professionals at large companies use to get buy-in from c-level executives in support of climate change initiatives? Well for Gwen Migata, vice president of...
[In the weeks ahead, BNA’s climate blog will take a closer look at U.S. regions covered in the draft National Climate Assessment. In addition to the Southeast and Caribbean, region, the...
If Congress fails to reach a deal by March 1 to prevent automatic federal spending cuts, vital environmental and energy programs would be jeopardized, according to Environmental Protection Agency...
California’s second quarterly greenhouse gas emissions auction under the nation’s first economywide cap-and-trade program will be held Feb. 19. The upcoming auction, and the remaining ones to be held May 16, Aug. 16, and Nov. 19, will offer 56.8 million allowances for sale for use between 2013 and 2020 and another 38.2 million for use beginning in 2016.
President Obama will give his State of the Union address Feb. 12, with many in the environmental arena expecting climate change to be included in his remarks. In the Senate, currently controlled by Democrats, an auditorium-style briefing on climate change will be held Feb. 13, showcasing four prominent climate scientists. A question-and-answer session will follow. On Feb. 12, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will reconvene a business meeting to go over its two-year oversight plan.The panel plans to increase oversight of the Obama administration's efforts to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. Plans also call for reviewing climate activities under the Energy Department and other departments, including those to prepare for and respond to weather events and natural disasters in the future.
The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a hearing Feb. 5 on “American Energy Security and Innovation: An Assessment of North America’s Energy Resources.” As...
[In the weeks ahead, BNA’s climate blog will take a closer look at U.S. regions covered in the draft National Climate Assessment. In addition to the Northeast, regions covered in the...
How the United States can increase domestic energy production will be a major component of a "blueprint" for energy legislation expected to be released the week of Jan. 28 by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), ranking Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The blueprint, which will include "concepts for discussion" rather than specific provisions, will be circulated among Republicans for their input, she said. Murkowski's remarks, along with comments over potentially exporting U.S. liquefied natural gas to Japan, are covered in a Jan. 23
World Climate Change Report
. To overcome partisan gridlock, Murkowski said she has been meeting with committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and House counterparts, including Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, to determine if energy legislation can be approved by both chambers within the next two years.
With the inauguration of President Obama Jan. 21 and the start of the 113th Congress, the spotlight will likely grow on whether the United States will increase its focus on climate change. As outlined in a
World Climate Change Report
2013 Outlook article
on U.S. climate legislation, Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) both pledged action on climate change in the days following the November elections, which appeared to give new life to several approaches, from modest bills to bolster energy efficiency and renewable energy to possible resurrection of a proposal to tax the carbon content of fuel. However, with Republicans maintaining control of the House though 2014, observers do not expect passage of any broad climate legislation.
Disasters--including drought, hurricanes, andwildfires--and the environment will be the theme of the 13th National Council on Science and the Environment conference Jan. 15-17 in Washington, D.C. A plenary session Jan. 16 will cover climate change, which some observers say may be exacerbating or increasing the likelihood and intensity of such disasters.
Four possible scenarios of global sea-level rise-ranging from 6 inches to 6.6 feet-that were developed by scientists for the U.S. National Climate Assessment will be discussed Jan. 9 during a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
in Silver Spring, Md.
Climate change issues will become more prominent in 2013 if recent developments are any indication and if efforts at the national, regional, state, and international levels continue to take shape.
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson faces a Dec. 21 deadline to turn over to a House committee information on the use of secondary email accounts to conduct agency business.
How to promote energy efficiency through tax reform and federal energy policy will be the subject of a hearing Dec. 12 by the Senate Finance Energy, Natural Resources, and Infrastructure Committee.
U.N. climate negotiators from more than 190 countries are expected to wrap up two weeks of talks Dec. 7 in Doha, Qatar, with no major action on a 2015 global agreement.
Climate delegates from more than 190 nations will begin two weeks of negotiations Nov. 26 in Doha, Qatar, to hammer out a plan for a 2020 agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions and, for countries that remain committed to the Kyoto Protocol, to decide on a second commitment period.
The executive board for the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) under the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change will meet Nov. 19-23 in preparation for two weeks of international climate negotations that begin Nov. 26 in Doha, Qatar.
A series of aerial photographs showing the Atlantic Coast before and after Hurricane Sandy reveals dramatically changed portions of shoreline extending hundreds of miles, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
California on Nov. 14 will hold its first auction of greenhouse gas emission allowances under its cap-and-trade program.
Hurricane Sandy's blow to New Jersey and New York has sparked renewed debate in the climate change arena, raising questions over whether it will be a factor in the Nov. 6 presidential election. ..
In addition to heavy rain, high winds, flooding, and tornadoes, coastal surges-which climate experts say are being exacerbated by sea-level rise due to global warming-are among the threats the East Coast faces from Hurricane Sandy in the week ahead.
Efforts to roll back state policies requiring utilities to obtain power from wind, solar, and other renewable sources largely failed in legislative sessions across the country this year, according to information compiled by analysts who track state incentives.
More than 120 experts in Florida on sea level rise want President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney to address climate change during the third and final presidential debate Oct. 22 in...
Will a question concerning climate change be posed Oct. 16 during the second presidential debate in New York on foreign and domestic issues? Maybe. The debate, to be held in a town-hall format at
, N.Y., will feature undecided voters selected by the Gallup Organization to ask questions on foreign and domestic issues. Each candidate will be given two minutes to respond.
The European Union is expected to endorse legislation Oct. 8 designed to reduce energy consumption and meet greenhouse gas reduction goals. The legislation is part of the European Union’s “20-20-20” plan that calls for a 20 percent reduction in energy use via energy efficiency measures, a 20 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels, and a 20 percent renewable energy target, all by 2020. If approved, the measure would have to be implemented into national legislation by EU countries within 18 months.
The U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change will host its second workshop on long-term financing of climate change initiatives Oct. 1-3 in Cape Town, South Africa. As detailed in a...
Bloomberg BNA will livestream the 2012 GreenGov Symposium, organized by the White House Council on Environmental Quality and the Association of Climate Change Officers, Sept. 24-25, beginning with the opening day plenary session at 8:45 a.m. ET. The symposium, being held in Washington, D.C., will feature officials from government, the private sector, nonprofits, and academia who will discuss opportunities to expand clean energy use, curb pollution, and incorporate other sustainable practices into the federal government's operations.
Five years after enactment, the law that authorized the creation of a federal program that funds the development of technologies in areas not likely to be undertaken by the private sector will be the subject of a Sept. 19 hearing by the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. The America COMPETES Act (P.L. 110-69) was enacted in 2007 to fund the Energy Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA-E). During a hearing of the House Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation in January, Republicans alleged that some ARPA-E projects had received prior private sector funding for similar work
a possible violation of the law.
The Republican Party platform for 2012 contains no mention of energy efficiency, leading some observers to conclude that the issue of energy conservation--long considered bipartisan—is becoming increasingly politicized.
The European Parliament is scheduled to vote Sept. 11 on energy efficiency legislation that would require certain steps to be taken during renovations of public buildings, energy-saving actions to be taken by utilities, and energy audits for all large companies. Discussion also is planned on other energy measures.
A final round of U.N. climate change talks in Bangkok before formal negotiations take place at the end of the year are set to end Sept. 5.
With the Republican Convention getting underway in Tampa, Fla., in the week ahead, presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s energy and environmental views likely will be talked about, however, most...
The first meeting of the Green Climate Fund Board will be held Aug. 23-25 in Geneva. The fund, launched last year during United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of Parties in South Africa, is intended to raise $100 billion a year by 2020 to help poorer countries cope with the effects of climate change. However, as detailed in an April 11
World Climate Change Report
article, some observers doubt that developed nations are prepared to raise that amount of funding.
While Congress has left Washington, D.C., for its August recess, the effects of climate change on the West--including record-breaking drought conditions and wildfires--will be the subject of two field hearings by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Aug. 15 and 17 in
As Congress takes its August recess, climate and energy events in the week ahead include a California adaptation meeting and the launch by China of a rare earth trading platform.
The U.S. departments of State and Transportation will host a meeting July 31-Aug. 1 of approximately 15 countries that oppose the European Union's decision to include aviation emissions in its cap-and-trade system.
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee this week turns its attention to transportation fuels, and more specifically the use of natural gas to power vehicles. Meanwhile, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power again will try to mark up the No More Solyndras Act.
Representatives of a new green building coalition told lawmakers this week that the federal government is creating a monopoly by using a third-party green building rating system.
The General Services Administration's use of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, "effectively creates a monopoly for federal buildings," said Steven Russell, vice president of the plastics division at the American Chemistry Council. Russell testified at a July 19 hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform examining the effect of regulations on business.
Assessing the costs of the Obama Administration's commitment to solar energy projects will be the subject of a House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee hearing July 18.
As detailed in a
World Climate Change Report
, top Republicans on the committee introduced a bill July 10
the No More Solyndras Act
which would phase out the Energy Department's clean energy loan guarantee program.
The House Agriculture Committee is scheduled to mark up a draft farm bill July 11 that would cut $6 billion over 10 years from conservation programs and save $500 million by eliminating mandatory funding for energy programs and reducing discretionary energy spending for reauthorized programs. Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) and ranking member Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) described the draft Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act (FARRM) as a bipartisan bill that saves taxpayers billions of dollars.
Energy, sustainable development, and follow-up on the Rio+20 summit are among the priorities Cyprus said it will focus on during its six-month term as president of the Council of the European Union. Holding the Council presidency means setting agendas and steering debates on mainly budgetary, economic, and societal matters. Cyprus holds the presidency from July 1 through Dec. 31.
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson is scheduled to testify June 28 before the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee on "Strengthening the Scientific Backbone of EPA: An Examination of Agency Practices and Foundations for Regulations Affecting the American Economy." The hearing comes on the heels of a June 25 deadline for public comments on a proposed Clean Air Act rule that would set new source performance standards for power plants to control greenhouse gas emissions.
Why is that we share a common future, but so little common ground? The result from Rio+20 is so lackluster, leaders and their delegates declined to bequeath it one of the grandiloquent titles normally attached to such things. It is not a Rio+20 Declaration, nor even a "roadmap." It is simply, awkwardly, uninspiringly, a "Rio+20 Outcomes Document."
Sustainable development is the theme this week in Rio de Janeiro, as world leaders, NGOs, and private sector representatives gather Wednesday through Friday for the 20th anniversary of the U.N. Conference on Environment and Development, or Earth Summit.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he hopes the Rio+20 summit will result in agreement on a text that provides a clear path to advance economic development, expands access to electricity, and increases environmental protection.
A conference that yields a road map for future action would be considered a success, according to many organizers.
What might the world get out of Rio+20?
The 3-day U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development kicks off in Rio de Janeiro June 20. If the ambitions of many are met, Rio+20 will put the world on track to agree a suite of sustainable development goals on matters such as energy, water and food security, building on the
Millennium Development Goals
that expire in 2015.
If many in the finance sector have their way, Rio+20 also will encourage nations to oblige big business to report on environmental factors material to their operations, or explain why they do not.
Humans may be rapidly and irreversibly pushing Earth into a new geologic age, according to a paper published in the June 7 issue of Nature.
The new age or epoch, called Anthropocene, may begin within decades to centuries or may already be here, researchers said in the paper,
Approaching a State Shift in Earth's Biosphere
Instead of projecting recent trends into the future or using models to predict the potential impacts of climate change, scientists looked at past "critical transitions," such as the extinction of dinosaurs 65 million years ago, and determined that humans are now "forcing another such transition."
The House has voted to continue using foam cups and other polystyrene products, the latest salvo in a congressional food fight over the sustainability of the Capital's restaurants. The use of disposable foam cups and food containers, along with plastic cutlery, in the House's eateries has been the subject of a long-running battle between Democrats and Republicans. Republicans reversed a ban on the products when they took control of the House in 2011. In the latest skirmish over the House's tableware, a Democratic amendment to a $3.3 billion bill funding House operations that would have effectively banned the use of food service products made of polystyrene failed June 8 by a largely party-line vote of 178-229.
While the House recesses for a constituent work week, the Senate remains in session this week. The Senate Agriculture Committee will consider amendments to a farm bill, and other committees will take up energy issues related to taxes and China. The farm bill would provide more than $1 billion dollars in energy-related spending. Leaders of the Senate Agriculture Committee cautioned members against introducing proposals unrelated to the legislation.
The Coca-Cola Co., Ford Motor Co., H.J. Heinz Co., Nike Inc., and Procter & Gamble Co. have partnered to promote technology to make 100 percent plant-based plastic. The partnership aims to speed up the commercialization of 100 percent plant-based PET, or polyethylene terephthalate, for use in beverage bottles, apparel, automotive carpet, and other products.
The inclusion of U.S. airlines in the European Union's Emissions Trading System will be examined June 6 during a Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee hearing. The United States has opposed the inclusion of U.S. airlines in the EU ETS. Some members of Congress and the airline industry have pressed the Obama administration to bring the dispute before the Convention on International Civil Aviation, also known as the Chicago Convention. As detailed in a
World Climate Change Report
, a challenge under Article 84 of the Convention would force the International Civil Aviation Organization and its member nations to address whether the European Union's plan intrudes on the sovereignty of other nations.
Draft assessments of current and future climate change impacts on the United States are expected to be turned in by 30 teams of expert authors by June 1 to the National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee.
The assessments will make up the next
National Climate Assessment,
which is due to Congress every four years under the Global Change Research Act of 1990. However, only two reports have been completed since the law passed--in 2000 and 2009.
Legislation in both chambers of Congress would limit the Department of Defense's ability to buy alternative fuels, reflecting some congressional Republicans' criticism of Pentagon efforts to green the military.
The Environmental Protection Agency will hold two public hearings May 24 in Washington, D.C., and Chicago on Clean Air Act new source performance standards that would limit carbon dioxide...
PepsiCo and Wal-mart have entered into a partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development and several nonprofit groups to protect Brazil's Amazon rain forest and other ecosystems. ...
Similar to the way a slather of sunscreen can help prevent sunburn, one of its ingredients—titanium oxide—could be injected into the stratosphere to help keep the Earth from overheating,...
The Department of Energy would continue to be barred from enforcing new energy efficiency standards for incandescent light bulbs under a planned House amendment that pits bulb manufacturers against the tea party movement.
The amendment, which Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) has vowed to introduce to an upcoming appropriations bill, would prohibit funding to enforce standards that require the 100-watt light bulb, and eventually other bulbs, to be about 30 percent more efficient.
Bulb manufacturers, who say they have spent millions of dollars retooling factories to comply with the standards, oppose measures such as Burgess's, saying they open the door for imports of cheaper, less efficient bulbs.
In Congress, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will hold a hearing Thursday on the Clean Energy Standard Act of 2012 (
), which would promote a range of low- and zero-carbon electricity generation sources. The bill would require utilities to obtain 24 percent of electricity from "clean" sources starting in 2015, increasing 3 percent per year through 2035.
The Coca-Cola Co., Nike, and more than 30 other companies have cut carbon dioxide emissions by more than 100 million metric tons since 1999 under a partnership agreement with the World Wildlife Fund, according to a new
. The reductions are equal to double the current annual emissions of Switzerland.
Electronics manufacturers are threatening to drop out of
, saying recent changes have made participation in the federal government's voluntary energy efficiency labeling program too costly.
Among the chief complaints is a requirement that companies seeking an Energy Star label have their products' energy usage tested in third-party labs. Previously, companies were allowed to conduct the tests themselves after signing an agreement "committing" that their products met Energy Star specifications.
A water and energy spending bill could come to the House floor this week. The measure would provide nearly $1.4 billion for the Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy for fiscal year 2013.
In the courts, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Circuit is scheduled to hear argument Friday on motions to dismiss a lawsuit that seeks to require the federal government to place an immediate cap on greenhouse gas emissions.
Could Congress pass legislation to speed up rare earth mining here in the U.S.?
According to the April issue of the
Materials Research Society Bulletin
, a bill may be enacted if mitigating risk of supply chain interruptions remains a priority for Congress.
Concern over the supply chain of rare earth minerals-which are not rare, but are found in small concentrations-heated up when China, which accounts for 97 percent of the world's production, curtailed exports in 2010.
For the growing green tech industry, the 17 rare earth minerals on the periodic table are vital in the production of wind turbines, electric vehicle batteries, fuel cells, and energy-efficient lighting. They are also important in the production of dozens of other high-tech products, like computers, cell phones, and medical equipment.
The Environmental Protection Agency will take questions May 3 via a
on its draft strategy outlining actions to manage water programs and invest resources aimed at reducing adverse effects of climate change on water resources.
The draft strategy, which builds upon EPA's first climate change and water strategy released in 2008, focuses on five key areas: infrastructure, watersheds and wetlands, coastal and ocean waters, water quality, and tribal programs. The draft strategy also describes geographically based strategic issues and actions.
The agency is accepting comments on the draft water-climate strategy until May 17.
Diesel engines and burning of biomass for fuel are responsible for the lion's share of black carbon emissions in the United States, according to an EPA report to Congress on emissions of the carbon particulates. EPA's report on black carbon--the most effective form of particulate matter, by mass, at absorbing solar energy--holds some interesting facts in regard to the largest U.S. sources.
The House Appropriations Committee is expected to markup a $32.1 billion energy and water appropriations bill in the week ahead for fiscal year 2013. As detailed in an April 18
World Climate Change
, the bill would provide $26.3 billion for the Energy Department, a reduction of $358 million from current funding levels.
Elsewhere in D.C., an EPA advisory workgroup will hold a closed session April 24 to discuss options to streamline the greenhouse gas permitting process under the Clean Air Act.
Lawsuits challenging EPA's decision to grant two partial Clean Air Act waivers approving use of gasoline containing 15 percent ethanol (E15) could turn on the placement of a single "any" in the statute.
"It all comes down to one word-any," Judge Brett Kavanaugh said during oral argument April 17.
The Environmental Protection Agency is facing an April 9 deadline to
file a response to lawsuits challenging a requirement that states
include greenhouse gas emissions in air quality plans.
Whole Foods Market said March 30 it would stop selling unsustainable seafood next month.
The Commerce Department is expected to issue a preliminary antidumping
duty ruling March 27 on whether Chinese photovoltaic cells are being
sold at less than fair-market value.
The first statewide electric highway will be completed by the end of April, according to the governor of Washington state.
Just a little over a year ago, on March 11, 2011, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and ensuing tsunami crippled Fukushima, Japan. According
to Kathrin Winkler, vice president of operations and chief energy
officer for EMC Corp., the disaster “made us pull out our playbook in
how we deal with supply chain disruptions.”
A Treasury Department review that found weaknesses in the Energy
Department's loan guarantee program will be the subject of a hearing
March 13 by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee meeting.
The island nation of Kiribati is considering purchasing land in Fiji to
relocate its population due to sea level rise, according to a FijiTV
report March 1.
The number of Americans who believe global temperatures are rising is "on the rebound," according to a new
by the Brookings Institution.
The Obama Administration plans to release its climate change adaptation
strategy next week, while Congress continues with budget hearings for
various agencies. Meanwhile, state officials in New York will hold
public hearings on limiting carbon emissions from power plants.
One of the most consistent themes heard here at the Climate Leadership
Conference is that top executives need to seriously buy into a plan to
reduce greenhouse gas emissions for a company to successfully reduce its
carbon footprint and implement sustainability measures.
Imagine trying to determine indirect emissions of greenhouse gases from
1,400 companies that supply parts for one of the Big Three automakers.
Supply chain emissions, known as Scope 3 emissions, include greenhouse
gases emitted by products and services.
Three federal judges will hear arguments Feb. 28 and 29 challenging
Environmental Protection Agency actions under the Clean Air Act to
control emissions of greenhouse gases.
Remember back in August 2011 when Hurricane Irene was bearing down on the East Coast threatening to flood New York City? Here's an example of the response to the hurricane, which was downgraded to a tropical storm before it hit the Big Apple, from an Aug. 26, 2011, New York Times article:
For the first time in its history, New York City planned to shut down its entire mass transit and subway system- the world's largest-beginning at noon on Saturday. At least 370,000 people in the city were ordered evacuated from low-lying areas.
Volvo has agreed to lower carbon dioxide emissions from its
construction equipment, buses, and trucks by 30 million tons by 2015,
the company said Feb. 17. The commitment builds on a previous pledge to
lower Volvo truck emissions by 13 million tons by 2015.
Two international events concerning airlines and raw materials with
implications for climate change and energy are on the agenda in the week
ahead as the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives recess for state
and district work periods.
It's Valentine's Day and lots and lots of chocolate will be devoured by lovers of this ubiquitous delicacy. Up to 58 million pounds of it, according to
, and that was back in 2009.
Obama is scheduled to release his 2013 budget request Feb. 13. Late
in December 2011, President Obama signed into law the roughly $1
trillion omnibus spending package, a move that closed the wrenching
fiscal year 2012 appropriations process, which was wrought with
short-term stopgap funding measures and threats of government shutdowns.
New York Feb. 10 began registering benefit corporations, a new class of
companies required to create positive impacts for the environment and
society as well as shareholders.
Some economists say the shale gas boom, which has resulted in cheaper
natural gas, has the potential to delay the market for renewable energy
by up to 20 years without regulatory policies like a renewable portfolio
standard for utilities.
U.K. Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne has stepped down
amid allegations of wrongdoing and has been replaced by Ed Davey, a
former business minister.
Members of a sustainability initiative launched by IBM, Coca-Cola, and
other corporations will hold their first meeting Feb. 7-8 in Orlando
The Coca-Cola Co. released its sustainability report
(http://www.thecoca-colacompany.com/sustainabilityreport/) for 2010 and
2011 on Monday, revealing that it is on track to be water-neutral in its
direct operations by 2020.
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing Jan. 31 on the “U.S. and Global Energy Outlook for 2012.”
Almost one-third of companies say they are profiting from sustainability
practices, according to a survey by the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology and the Boston Consulting Group.
More investment to help developing countries cope with the impacts of
climate change will increase national and global security, according to
Rajiv Shah, administrator of the U.S. Agency for International
Congress is back in session this week with the Keystone XL pipeline high on the agenda.
Stakeholders in the Western Climate Initiative will be updated on program developments Jan. 12 in San Francisco.
With the holiday season upon us, climate and energy events have taken a
backseat, but a few items of interest are on the agenda this week.
Even for a process accustomed to missing deadlines, this was a big deal:
the final gavel was sounded on the 17th Conference of the Parties
(COP) meetings here at 6 a.m. local time on Sunday, precisely 30 hours
after the scheduled end to the meetings.
The climate change summit here has already gone over schedule longer
than any previous U.N. climate negotiations. Originally scheduled to
conclude Friday, as of 6 p.m. local time Saturday there was no end in
site. That’s later than the 2:30 p.m. Saturday finish in Bali, Indonesia
in 2007, the previous record for a late finish.
Once again, the Democrats and Republicans are debating over spending legislation.
For a second consecutive day, protests erupted Friday at the U.N.
climate change summit here. This time they were peaceful, but they
nonetheless interrupted most negotiating tracks because they took place
inside the conference facility.
Nearly two weeks after Canada grabbed the spotlight at U.N. climate
change negotiations here based on reports that it would pull out of the
Kyoto Protocol, the country’s environment minister said Thursday that a
new treaty should be drafted to replace Kyoto no later than 2015.
With climate talks here headed toward their final day, the top U.S.
negotiator Thursday urged other high-level delegates to “secure a strong
and credible outcome that builds on” climate finance and other
agreements reached at last year’s summit in Cancun.
U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.)
and more than a dozen other senators this week pressed the Obama
administration in a letter to work toward an “ambitious outcome” in U.N.
climate talks here, including steps to ensure global temperatures do
not rise more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above
Protests decrying a lack of action at U.N. climate talks turned violent
Thursday, with at least three protesters hospitalized and about two
dozen carted away by police.
It could be argued that the group most central to the climate change
summit here was not elected to any government or appointed to any
delegation--instead, it’s the Mandarin-to-English translation team.
A decidedly smaller number of U.S. congressional and Obama
administration representatives have made the trip to this year’s U.N.
climate change talks compared to previouse years, reflecting the
relatively modest expectations for progress here.
Italian utility giant Enel SpA has teamed up with the World Food Program
in a pilot initiative aimed at improving health, reducing greenhouse
gas emissions, and making lifestyles more sustainable in parts of
In a highly technical process filled with more than its share of
acronyms and specialized lingo, COP-17 President Maite Nkoana-Mashabane
on Friday introduced a new term to the U.N. climate talks: “Indaba.”
Speculations that Canada could withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol some
time before the end of the year sent ripples through the United Nations
climate change talks here. And now environmental lobby group Greenpeace
says it has calculated how much the move may save the Canadian
government: $6.7 billion.
As climate negotiators in Durban, South Africa, enter their second and
final week, hopes are low that an agreement can be reached on a second
compliance period to extend the Kyoto Protocol, which expires at the end
Climate delegates from more than 190 nations will begin two weeks of
negotiations Nov. 28 in Durban, South Africa, with the major-emitting
countries still divided over whether and how to extend the Kyoto
Protocol, which expires at the end of 2012.
As the week of Thanksgiving begins, the Congressional "super committee"
looks set to announce its failure to come up with a plan to cut at
least $1.2 trillion from the federal deficit or risk automatic spending
cuts. The formal deadline for an agreement is Nov. 23, but any agreement
would have to be completed Monday, to give the Congressional Budget
Office time to score the deal.
A proposed rule that would set fuel economy and greenhouse gas emission
standards for cars and light trucks for model years 2017–2025 is
expected to be released next week by the Environmental Protection Agency
and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Australia's Senate is expected to vote this week on a carbon trading
scheme that would require facilities emitting 25,000 metric tons or more
of carbon dioxide-equivalent annually to purchase units to cover their
emissions. The carbon price is expected to be about A$23 ($23.40).
Legislation intended to reduce burdensome regulations will be the subject of a hearing by the House Committee Oct. 25.
The California Air Resources Board is expected to vote on final rules
for the state's greenhouse gas emissions cap-and-trade-program during a
meeting in Sacramento this Thursday and Friday (Oct. 20-21).
Congress will continue to scrutinize spending cuts for the Environmental
Protection Agency in the week ahead, with the House Energy and Commerce
Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations holding a hearing Oct. 12
as part of its line-by-line review of the federal budget.
The spending saga in Congress will continue this week as the House is
expected to vote Oct. 4 on a resolution (H.R. 2608) that would fund the
government through Nov. 18.
EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are expected
to propose new corporate average fuel economy and greenhouse gas
emissions standards by Wednesday.
The House is expected to vote on a bill during the week of Sept. 19
that would set up an interagency panel to study the cumulative costs of
nearly a dozen Environmental Protection Agency rules concerning air,
water, waste, and climate change.
Energy issues related to consumers, electricity delivery in the West,
and security will be covered at a "Natonal Clean Energy Summit" Aug. 30
in Las Vegas, sponsored by Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the
Center for American Progress, the Clean Energy Project, and MGM Resorts
The California Air Resources Board will consider five alternatives to
the state's proposed cap-and-trade program for greenhouse gas emissions
during an Aug. 24 meeting.
A federal advisory committee for the National Climate Assessment will
hold a public meeting Aug. 16-17 in Washington, D.C. The commitee is
reviewing draft material for the third assessment, due to Congress by
June 2013. The report is expected to focus on climate change adaptation
President Obama is scheduled Aug. 9 to announce final standards to
limit greenhouse gas emissions from medium and heavy-duty trucks.
If the debt ceiling deal reached Sunday by the White House and
congressional leaders is approved by legislators, possibly as soon as
tonight, attention in the weeks ahead will turn to work by a
super-committee that will seek $1.5 trillion in savings—on top of an
initial $900 billion—by Nov. 23.
The House is expected to begin debate Monday on a spending measure that
would fund the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of
Interior, and other agencies in fiscal year 2012.
As players in the first stadium to earn an LEED certification, the
Washington Nationals certainly made a homerun in the drive for
sustainability. Now, D.C.'s football team appears to be following suit
with plans to install solar panels over one of its stadium parking lots.
A report released last month by the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology, The Future of Natural Gas, will be the topic of a Senate
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources July 19.
The House is scheduled to continue work this week on spending
legislation for fiscal 2012 for the Department of Energy, the
Environmental Protection Agency's budget, and others. Legislation
addressing spending for EPA also would curb the agency's ability to
regulate greenhouse gas emissions.
The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and
Related Agencies on July 6 will mark up a measure that would fund the
Environmental Protection Agency and a host of related agencies for
fiscal year 2012.
Poland on July 1 will succeed Hungary as president of the Council of
the European Union at a time when the bloc ponders whether to raise its
2020 goal for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
If you meet the usual commercial standards of quality and price and
“then add environmental value, I think you win. Big. Because consumers
get all that they hope for and a lot more....Earnest will never become
sexy [but] consumers will begin to see it less as preachy and more as
The House will focus on spurring the development of renewable energy June 23, as the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources holds a
on four bills that would speed permitting and ease reviews.
The House Appropriations Committee is expected to mark up a $30.6
billion fiscal year 2012 energy and water measure June 15 that
represents a $5.9 billion reduction from President Obama's request.
The U.N. Climate Change Conference in Bonn remained stalled in its
fourth day June 9, as the two main bodies negotiating technical aspects
of confronting climate change were unable to agree to an agenda.
Christiana Figueres, the United Nations' top climate change official
said Monday that even if the upcoming climate change summit in Durban
South Africa somehow yields a complete and enforceable post-2012
agreement on confronting climate change, it still would be impossible to
avoid a gap after the expiration of the Kyoto Protocol’s 2008-2012
International developments will take center stage this week as the
UNFCCC meets in Bonn to begin two weeks of talks. In the U.S., RGGI will
hold its first auction since New Jersey announced it was leaving the
regional emissions trading program.
This week, the House is expected to hold a hearing on the Obama
Administration’s plan to review burdensome regulations that prevent
economic growth and another hearing on spending for environmental and
In the midst of high gas prices, the Senate may mark up two bills this
week that would expand the use of electric vehicles nationwide.
This week members of the House will be in their districts for a
constituent work period, while the Senate is scheduled to hold
energy-related hearings and likely will continue debate on the repeal of
oil and gas tax subsidies for large companies.
Secretary of State Hilliary Clinton and United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change executive secretary Christiana Figueres are
scheduled to make separate appearances at climate-related events this
As Congress reconvenes May 2 after a two-week recess, a host of climate
and energy-related issues are expected to be addressed by lawmakers in
the weeks ahead.
Happy Earth Day! Hopefully, this April 22nd will be kinder to the planet
than last year's. On this day, one year ago the BP-run oil rig in the
Gulf of Mexico sank, two days after the initial explosion. At a news
conference on April 22, 2010, David Rainey, Vice President of Gulf of
Mexico exploration for BP, said "It certainly has the potential to be a
While Congress remains out of session for spring recess until May 2, a
Senate Committee field hearing related to climate change in New Mexico
is among a number of climate and energy events planned for the week
With Congress out of session until the end of April for spring recess,
the climate spotlight will turn to the Supreme Court April 19 when it
hears oral arguments on whether greenhouse gases emitted by six energy
producers constitute a nuisance under federal common law.
This week's science roundup might read like a good news, bad news routine.
In the week ahead, lawmakers are expected to agree to a spending bill
to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year, which ends Sept.
30, after President Obama signed a stop-gap measure (H.R. 1363) April 9
that keeps the government running until April 15.
The year's first set of U.N. climate change negotiations concluded
Friday in Bangkok with an agreement on a broad set of priorities for the
rest of the year, but the talks failed to do much to heal the rift
between rich and poor countries that had stalled negotiations for two of
the six days of talks.
The House is expected to vote on their proposed fiscal year 2012 budget
blueprint the week of April 11 that includes trillions of dollars in
spending and tax cuts over the next 10 years.
2011 04 07 Tensions between rich and poor countries remained high at United Nations sponsored climate change talks in Bangkok on Thursday, the penultimate day, with some delegates telling BNA they feared some of the
The latest round of U.N. climate change talks nearly ground to a halt
Wednesday over one of the oldest issues in the climate change debate:
the future of the Kyoto Protocol.
Participants in the latest round of U.N. climate change negotiations,
under way in Bangkok, say they are eager to know if Japan’s targets for
reducing greenhouse gas emissions will change in the wake of the
devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami that crippled the Fukushima
Daiichi nuclear power complex.
The latest round of United Nations climate change talks began Sunday in
Bangkok amid both protests that rich countries were doing too little to
satisfy their responsibility for past greenhouse gas emissions and
calls from the U.N.’s top climate change official to build on the
progress made at December’s climate change summit in Mexico.
The nonprofit watchdog group Public Employees for Environmental
Responsibility continues to scrutinize efforts by the Obama
Administration to minimize political interference in scientific reports
and policy decisions.
The expiration of a continuing budget resolution and the potential for
the Senate to vote on proposals targeting Environmental Protection
Agency rules on greenhouse gas emissions are expected to be in the
spotlight the week of April 4.
The Obama Administration’s attempt to overcome Bush era restrictions on
what critics claimed resulted in political interference in scientific
reports and policy decisions continues to face scrutiny by the nonprofit
watchdog group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.
Saturday night was the World Wildlife Fund-backed "Earth Hour." At 8:30
p.m. local time March 26 , participants turned off all of their
"non-essential" lighting. The event is mostly symbolic, participating
cities in past years have seen at most minimal drop in energy usage for
the hour, if anything. The effort lasts only an hour, and the biggest
emissions don't come from powering household lights. Heating and air
conditioning systems are unaffected by the event, as are large
manufacturing plants, vehicles, and refineries.
Tomorrow night is the World Wildlife Fund backed "Earth Hour". At 8:30
p.m. local time March 25 , participants will turn off all of their
"non-essential" lighting. The event is mostly symbolic, participating
cities in past years have seen at most minimal drop in energy usage for
the hour if anything. The effort lasts only an hour, and the biggest
emissions don't come from powering household lights. Heating and air
conditioning systems are unaffected by the event, as are large
manufacturing plants, vehicles, and refineries. Critics have questioned
whether events like this one end up triumphing feel-good symbolism over
substantive changes, an issue organizers hope to address through their
"beyond the hour" campaign.
Upon their return from a week-long recess, Senators are expected to
debate measures this week that would restrict or delay Environmental
Protection Agency regulations to limit greenhouse gas emissions.
Though a preponderance of scientific evidence points to the existence of
climate change and the related effects of greenhouse gas emissions,
vocal climate skeptics--and perhaps their allies in Congress--apparently
have been relatively successful in convincing voters that there is
little, if any, cause for alarm or action.
While the House and Senate will be in recess the week of March 21, a
task force formed by one congressman will hold its first meeting to
address complaints concerning the Environmental Protection Agency's
Clean Air Act permit requirements for greenhouse gas emissions.
Speaking at the International Emissions Trading Association on March
14, Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) told the audience that, despite
repeated failures to get a bill passed, he still believes that
cap-and-trade is the best way to control greenhouse gas emissions.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee is expected to vote March 15 on
a bill—the Energy Tax Prevention Act (H.R. 910)—that would block the
Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas
emissions. A two-day markup of the bill is planned, with opening
statements scheduled for March 14.
During the week of March 7, Democrats and Republicans in Congress are
expected to increase their debate over federal spending and the
Environmental Protection Agency's authority to regulate greenhouse gas
The focus in Washington, D.C., the week of Feb. 28 will be on Congress
and whether Senate Democrats and House Republicans can agree on a
continuing resolution or a shorter-term spending measure to extend
funding for federal agencies and prevent a government shutdown. The
current spending measure, H.R. 3082, which passed in December, expires
Welcome to back to the science roundup, which was on an inexcusably
long vacation as your trusty reporter worked on stories for World
Climate Change Report. Since the last blog post, battles over climate
science have moved (back) to the House floor, this time as part of
debates over the fiscal year 2012 budget.
An array of climate and energy developments are on the agenda for the
week of Feb. 21 as members of the Senate and House recess to hold state
and district work periods.
Brazil's Environment Ministry announced Feb. 9 that the National Climate
Change Fund (FNMC) to reduce greenhouse emissions and help regions
adapt to the effects of global warming will disburse 238 million reais
($142.6 million) in 2011, the first year of fund payouts.
President Obama is expected on Feb. 14 to unveil his budget for the
2012 fiscal year, while a continuing resolution to fund the government
for fiscal year 2011 will be debated on the House floor in the week
Severe droughts in the Amazon rainforest in 2005 and 2010, could, if
they continue to occur with great frequency, turn the Amazon into a
future source of carbon dioxide emissions, rather than a sink that
absorbs carbon, according to an article published in the February 4
issue of Science Magazine.
The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power is
scheduled to hold a hearing Feb. 9 on a draft bill that would prevent
the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas
emissions under the Clean Air Act.
Forget the two Americas (you likely had already forgotten). According to the
Yale Project on Climate Change Communication
, there are six Americas. Earlier studies split U.S.-based poll respondents into categories based on their reactions to climate change. The categories of respondents are the Alarmed, the Concerned, the Cautious, the Disengaged, the Doubtful, and the Dismissive. The groups represent a scale that generally goes from the "highest belief in global warming," "most concerned," and "most motivated" to act to the "lowest belief in global warming," "least concerned," and "least motivated." Learn more about the six groups in the 2009 report,
Global Warming's Six Americas
Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) will follow a host of fellow lawmakers Jan.
31 by introducing legislation designed to take away the Environmental
Protection Agency's authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.
During a Jan. 26 congressional hearing, House Republicans are expected
to begin following through with a campaign pledge to block Environmental
Protection Agency rules to control greenhouse gas emissions they say
will drag down the economy.
An article published in the New York Times Monday points out that it's
not just the cute animals--such as polar bears and ribbon seals--that
are threatened by climate change. Other, far less impressive animals
face changing habitats and shifting ecosystems. According to the
article, 20 percent to 30 percent of existing species could be lost in a
century if global temperature rises between 3.6 degrees to 5.4 degrees
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Automobile Dealers
Association will present oral arguments in a federal appeals court Jan.
18 challenging a waiver granted to California by the Environmental
Protection Agency allowing the state to set its own greenhouse gas
emission standards for motor vehicles.
Well this is a downer: According to a paper published in the online
edition of the journal Nature Geoscience, reducing carbon dioxide
emissions to zero by 2100 would not prevent major atmospheric and
environmental changes that would still continue in the year 3000.
Supporters of action in the U.S. to deal with climate change are
considering new strategies to rekindle support for a climate change bill
and expand renewable energy sources following the demise of Senate
cap-and-trade legislation last year. They are starting with a campaign
meant to “revalidate” climate science and the urgent need for action,
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) said Jan. 11.
A U.S. Supreme Court decision concerning a greenhouse gas nuisance
case, Clean Air Act permits in Texas, and a House legislative calendar
to allow for more committee oversight are among the issues expected to
be in the spotlight during the week of Jan. 10 and beyond.
The Republicans officially took control of the House today, with Rep.
Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) literally handing over the gavel to the new
Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio). With the shift in House
leadership comes new chairmen for all of the House committees. In the
lead-up to today's offical start of the new congress, congressional
obersvers and elected officials alike have given a lot of attention to
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the new chairman of the House Committee on
Oversight and Government reform, who said that he will hold
congressional investigations into a wide ranging list of issues
including recalls by the Food and Drug admistration, the role of Fannie
Mae and Freddie Mac in the financial crisis, and accountability for the
diplomatic cables made public by WikiLeaks. But questions of the EPA's
authority to regulate greenhouse gas under the Clean Air Act are absent
from the list.
It's a strange, strange world. In the last few days there have been
unexplained cases of birds falling from the sky, 100,000 fish washing up
dead, multiple earthquakes, and flooding. Most of these phenomena have
little, if anything, to do with climate change. But the inability to
speak with any confidence about the causes of extraordinary events can
serve as a reminder about how little we understand about the way the
world truly works.