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Houston Chronicle: The House of Representatives passed legislation Wednesday that would speed construction of the Keystone XL pipeline - a largely symbolic measure with probably no chance of clearing the Democratic Senate and overcoming a presidential veto. The bill approved 241-175 on Wednesday is the latest attempt by the Republican-controlled House to pressure the Obama administration to approve the pipeline that would transport oil sands crude from Canada to the Gulf Coast. TransCanada Corp. first sought approval...
Posted: May 23, 2013, 2:00 pm
Reuters: China may impose higher quality standards for imported and locally traded coal to cut air pollution, two sources said, in a move that could slash imports while boosting the fortunes of a faltering domestic industry.
The National Energy Administration (NEA) held a meeting with major state-owned coal producers earlier this month to discuss the new standards, one of the sources said, adding top producer Shenhua Coal, China Coal, Datong Coal, Shanxi Coking Coal Group and Jizhong Energy Group were...
Posted: May 23, 2013, 11:53 am
Grist: The cleanest electricity is no electricity at all - a fact that is not lost on new Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.
During his first speech after being sworn into his new post, Moniz said energy efficiency would be one of his top priorities.
From Greentech Media:
Secretary Moniz spoke to a crowd at the Energy Efficiency Global Forum about his upcoming agenda as secretary.
"Efficiency is going to be a big focus going forward," he said. "I just don`t see the solutions to our biggest energy...
Posted: May 23, 2013, 11:52 am
New York Times: Jeff Opperman, a senior freshwater scientist with the Nature Conservancy, is taking a once-in-a-lifetime trip down the Mekong River in Southeast Asia with his wife and two children, ages 8 and 10. Previous posts can be found here. As we traveled down the Mekong River, I kept hearing variations of the same story: “There are fewer fish.” Our guide in the Four Thousand Island region of Laos relayed that fishermen now work longer hours and catch fewer fish. At a fishing camp just below Khone Falls,...
Posted: May 23, 2013, 11:31 am
BusinessGreen: The UK has come out fighting against European Union plans to impose punitive tariffs on solar technology imports from China, just a day after EU leaders met in Brussels to back plans for a new package of 2030 climate reduction targets.
Climate Change Minister Greg Barker has today travelled to Brussels with a delegation of representatives from the UK solar industry, and will call on the Commission to scrap plans for proposed levies of up to 68 per cent on imported solar panels.
The EU is currently...
Posted: May 23, 2013, 11:29 am
RedOrbit: While the weather can affect a person’s mood, life scientists at UCLA have offered new evidence that climate change could affect interaction between species.
The study, titled “Temperature dependence of trophic interactions are driven by asymmetry of species responses and foraging strategy” and published in the Journal of Animal Ecology, suggests that environmental temperature could have systematic effects on the rates of species interactions, which could occur primarily through its influence...
Posted: May 23, 2013, 11:18 am
EcoWatch: Before environmental lobbyists and legislators push a hydraulic fracking bill through the Illinois legislature, they need to sit down with farmers in Clinton County and learn how well regulations defended their water, farms and cankered lives from the contamination of coal slurry in the Pearl Aquifer.
Then they would fight to the end, like five southern Illinois county boards, for a moratorium on fracking--instead of a regulatory compromise that undercuts their efforts.
That was the advice...
Posted: May 23, 2013, 11:12 am
Grist: Those rambunctious fossil-fuel flunkies in the U.S. House of Representatives were at it again Wednesday. They passed a bill that would allow Keystone XL to bypass environmental laws and be built without approval from President Obama.
The House voted 241-175 to do away with an ongoing environmental review for the northern leg of the tar-sands pipeline project and make it more difficult for opponents to file appeals. (The southern leg is already more than halfway built.) The vote was mostly along...
Posted: May 23, 2013, 10:58 am
Guardian: Runners tread more heavily on the earth than they may have ever imagined, especially it seems if they are wearing a pair of Chinese-made men's size nine Asics gel Kayanos, according to a team of MIT scientists.
A new pair of synthetic running shoes typically generates 30lbs of carbon dioxide emissions, the researchers found.
That's an unusually high carbon footprint for a product that does not use electricity, or require sophisticated components. The researchers said it was equivalent to leaving...
Posted: May 23, 2013, 10:30 am
Grist: I was optimistic when I began reading the Washington Post op-ed on climate change by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), current chairman of the House Science Committee. He began with a plea for a thoughtful and objective discussion of climate science. But like Lucy snatching the football away from Charlie Brown, he quickly dashed my hopes as he proceeded to provide a one-sided view of the state of climate science.
Rep. Smith neglected to acknowledge that the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and 18 U.S....
Posted: May 23, 2013, 9:39 am
Inter Press Service: Fahima Begum rises each morning at dawn and walks two kilometers to a small pond, the nearest source of fresh water. On her way she passes the rusty old hand-pumped tube well that used to supply water to her village in Bangladesh's arid Barind region until the water table here dropped out of reach. Using a ragtag array of pots, she carries back as much as her frail body will allow, knowing that it will have to last her family all day. Susma Sen, also a resident of the Hamidpur village, in Chapainawabganj...
Posted: May 23, 2013, 8:00 am
Arabian Business: A slide in solar power costs and a surge in oil prices over the last few years has made solar power a win-win strategy for Saudi Arabia: saving billions of dollars of crude for export while making electricity at less than half the cost.
Riyadh plans to install 41,000 megawatts (MW) of solar power over the next 20 years, but to date has built only 12 MW - or less than even Britain installed in early May.
Despite year round sunshine, the oil and gas rich countries of the Gulf have lagged far...
Posted: May 23, 2013, 8:00 am
Agence France-Presse: The European Union is unlikely to hammer out its new policy on global warming ahead of a global climate deal that could be clinched in 2015, Poland's environment minister said Wednesday.
"A long discussion on climate change is getting underway. There's no chance that new measures will be adopted during the current terms of the European Parliament and the European Commission," minister Marcin Korolec told Poland's PAP news agency.
In its efforts to reduce global warming, the international community...
Posted: May 23, 2013, 8:00 am
EurActiv: Europe’s plan to decarbonise its economy by 2050 could be turned on its head at a summit today (22 May) if EU heads of state and government sign off on measures prioritising industrial competitiveness over climate change in draft conclusions seen by EurActiv. The draft text says that EU policy must ensure “competitive” energy prices, and declares it “crucial” that Europe diversify its energy supply and develop “indigenous energy resources” – a reference to renewable energies, but also coal, nuclear...
Posted: May 23, 2013, 7:59 am
Guardian: Investing in new renewable power generation, rather than a "dash for gas", will be the lower-cost option for keeping the lights on while cutting greenhouse gas emissions, the government's climate change watchdog has said.
The sooner the UK makes large investments in low-carbon generation – including offshore and onshore wind, nuclear power and energy from waste – the cheaper it will be, according to David Kennedy, chief executive of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), the statutory body that...
Posted: May 23, 2013, 6:00 am
Guardian: Congress has voted to shut Barack Obama out of the biggest environmental decision of his presidency -- the fate of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline -- and claimed the authority to approve the project.
The vote to approve the pipeline, which passed 241-175 in the Republican-controlled house, was pure political theatre.
The measure would dispense with additional environmental reviews of the pipeline and would allow only 60 days for legal challenges.
The bill was unlikely to pass in the Senate...
Posted: May 23, 2013, 5:30 am
Associated Press: Japan’s nuclear watchdog on Wednesday endorsed a conclusion by a panel of seismologists that a fault under a reactor at an atomic plant in western Japan is active, potentially blocking a restart of the reactor. The Nuclear Regulation Authority said it agreed with the panel that the fault underneath the Tsuruga No. 2 reactor could set off an earthquake and cause an accident. Japanese regulations prohibit reactors from sitting above active faults. The No. 2 reactor at Tsuruga, one of two there, now...
Posted: May 23, 2013, 2:56 am
Reuters: The House of Representatives approved a bill as expected on Wednesday declaring that a presidential permit was not needed to approve the Canada-to-Nebraska leg of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, a move that would take a decision on the project away from the Obama administration.
The Republican-controlled House voted 241-175, with less support from Democrats than during the most recent attempt to speed up pipeline approval.
The bill faces an uphill battle because it would have to pass the Senate...
Posted: May 23, 2013, 1:41 am
Environment News Service: The global warming deniers are at it again, and it is high time that the environmental movement in the United States and Canada launched an organized campaign to expose these scientific community charlatans.
The mainstream business media, which bows to corporate interests in both countries, is quick to publish interviews and opinion articles by the tiny percentage of scientists who deny that global warming exists. Some say that it has not been proven that human activity damages the environment....
Posted: May 23, 2013, 12:38 am
National Public Radio: Organizing for Action - a group that formed out of President Obama's re-election campaign - has posted five tweets in the past week about climate change using the @BarackObama Twitter account.
OFA's mission is to promote the president's agenda on a wide range of issues, from guns to immigration. But now that it's focused on global warming, there's some tension with the agenda inside the administration.
This week, Organizing for Action unveiled a website urging supporters to "Call Out the Climate...
Posted: May 23, 2013, 12:06 am