November 29, 2013
by Regina Cline
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 article, 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.
November 23, 2013
by Eric J. Lyman
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.
November 22, 2013
by Dean Scott
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.
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 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.
November 21, 2013
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.
November 20, 2013
A day of high drama Wednesday at the United Nations climate talks in Warsaw helped call attention to two key areas.
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.
November 19, 2013
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.
November 18, 2013
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.
November 15, 2013
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.
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.
November 13, 2013
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...
November 8, 2013
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.
November 1, 2013
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 article,
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.
October 25, 2013
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.
October 18, 2013
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.
October 15, 2013
by Andrew Childers
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.
October 11, 2013
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.
October 4, 2013
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.
September 30, 2013
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.
September 27, 2013
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).
September 23, 2013
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.
by Anthony Adragna
Senior Republicans and several coal state Democrats appear poised through legislation to do battle over newly announced carbon emissions limits for future power plants.
September 20, 2013
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.
September 13, 2013
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.
September 6, 2013
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.
August 23, 2013
President Obama's Climate Change Plan will be among the issues Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz will discuss Aug. 26 in New York at an event hosted by the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University. Moniz, in remarks covered in a May 22 Energy and Climate Reportarticle, 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.”
August 16, 2013
by Andrea Vittorio
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.
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.
August 9, 2013
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 article, 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.
August 2, 2013
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.”
August 1, 2013
by Ari Natter
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."
July 26, 2013
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 article, 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.
July 24, 2013
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 with a series of gotcha questions.
July 19, 2013
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."
July 12, 2013
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 article, 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.
July 8, 2013
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.
June 28, 2013
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.
June 21, 2013
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 video. He said the United States needs to lead global efforts to fight climate change and called for a new clean energy economy.
June 14, 2013
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 article, 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.
June 7, 2013
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 article, 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.
June 6, 2013
[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, Great Plains, Northeast, Northwest, Midwest, Southwest, and 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.
May 31, 2013
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.
May 24, 2013
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...
May 23, 2013
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...
May 21, 2013
[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.]Climate change in Alaska, which is melting Arctic sea ice, thawing permafrost, eroding coastlines is forcing the coastal village of Newtok to relocate to safer ground, according to the draft National Climate Assessment.
May 17, 2013
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.
May 15, 2013
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...
May 3, 2013
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.
April 26, 2013
Walmart added nearly 100 renewable energy projects in 2012 and now has more
than 280 globally, a company sustainability executive said
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.
April 19, 2013
[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 article 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.
April 12, 2013
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 article, 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.
April 11, 2013
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.
April 8, 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.
April 5, 2013
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.
March 29, 2013
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.
March 22, 2013
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...
March 15, 2013
March 8, 2013
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...
March 5, 2013
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...
March 1, 2013
February 25, 2013
[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...
February 22, 2013
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...
February 15, 2013
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.
February 8, 2013
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.
February 1, 2013
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...
Warsaw Talks Close with a Flurry; Heavy Lifting Still to Come
The Week Ahead: EPA to Hold Hearing on 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard
Peruvian Minister, President of 2014 UN Climate Talks, Addresses Challenges of Year Ahead
Countries Try to Salvage Warsaw Talks, Activists Remain Across Town
The Week Ahead: Proposal on Airline Emissions Expected to Be Introduced at European Parliament Committee Meeting