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Allen, Kara[]
Allen, Kara
Mon 12/9/2013 3:20:30 PM
SEEC Daily Clips 12.9.13

Sustainable Energy & Environment


Top news stories:

The annual United Nations climate change talks, which concluded last month in Warsaw, unfortunately
found little common ground on carbon. The talks broke down over the world's richest nations' inability
to agree with the poorest on how to address the financial costs of global climate change.

Two of President Barack Obama's top pollution-control measures face courtroom tests tomorrow as
coal-dependent utilities, miners and some states challenge what they call overreach by the
Environmental Protection Agency.

Wildlife groups and the Senate GOP's top environmental lawmaker are both irate over a new Interior
Department rule allowing 30-year permits for wind farms to accidentally kill or injure bald and golden
eagles. The rule was to be published in Monday's Federal Register.

In a battle that pits the East Coast against the Midwest over the winds that carry dirty air from coal
plants, the governors of eight Northeastern states plan to petition the Environmental Protection Agency
on Monday to force tighter air pollution regulations on nine Rust Belt and Appalachian states.

Energy news:

The wind energy production tax credit is a tougher issue than you might imagine for some good liberal
wonks. On the one hand, wind power is great. On the other hand, tax credits are a market-distorting,

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inefficient way of making policy.

The oil and natural-gas industry probably won't ever get a thank-you card from President Obama, but he
has a few big reasons to be grateful for the fossil-fuel boom.

U.S. ethanol companies, producing at the fastest pace in 21 months, expect mill closings and cuts in
production since President Obama's administration proposed reducing consumption targets for the first

The fourth version of LEED formally launched this month, with a goal of pushing the building envelope
further than ever before. Now that LEED - and green building in general - is mainstream and standard
practice - the US Green Building Council (USGBC) is raising the bar in some really interesting, important

The American Frozen Food Institute has urged the EPA to enact its proposal to slash mandated corn
ethanol production by 1.4 billion gallons in 2014 while the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) is
warning the agency that the Renewable Fuel Standard proposal will hurt the biofuels industry.

The policy known as the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), whereby retail electricity providers are
mandated to meet an increasing share of sales from the competitive procurement of clean and
renewable energy is proving successful as a viable framework for deploying a significant amount of
renewable generation at the state level. 29 states in total plus Washington, D.C. are successfully
deploying RPS policies to obtain homegrown, affordable, clean and renewable energy resources.

Some of the biggest cities in the US, such as New York, Los Angeles and Boston are - or already have switched to LED lights, which means they won't burn out for some 20 years. It turns out that could put a
big dent in utility profits for a couple of reasons.

Noble Energy officials say it may be as far as a decade away, but they're confident they'll be drilling for
oil in northeast Nevada.

Spain changed environmental rules to speed approvals on industrial projects from pig farms to oil rigs
and for the first time will regulate shale drilling.

The largest private-sector union in Canada has pledged its opposition to the proposed Northern
Gateway Pipeline, joining more than 100 First Nations groups and other unions who have vowed to fight
the project.

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Kenya plans to sign a concession accord this week with Fenxi Mining Industry Co. of China to develop a
coal deposit of 400 million metric tons, ending a two-year delay and enabling the state to tender 31
more blocks.

Climate news:

In the Warsaw climate change conference last month, world representatives negotiated an agenda for
further negotiations. That they did not manage to mess that up, we are told, is an achievement.

Canada is running out of time to offer U.S. President Barack Obama a climate change concession that
might clinch the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline, as the country's energy industry continues to
resist costly curbs on greenhouse gas emissions.

A new study for the first time found links between the rapid loss of snow and sea ice cover in the Arctic
and a recent spate of exceptional extreme heat events in North America, Europe, and Asia. The study
adds to the evidence showing that the free-fall in summer sea ice extent and even sharper decline in
spring snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere is reverberating throughout the atmosphere, making
extreme events more likely to occur.

Three small-business owners who had sued New York State over its participation in a regional carbon
cap-and-trade program lost their challenge in court last week, after a New York appeals court affirmed
that they had waited too long to bring the lawsuit.

As Mayor Michael Bloomberg winds down his last month in office, his plan for protecting New York City
from the threats of climate change has received an important boost. But there is still uncertainty over
whether his successor, Bill de Blasio, has any interest in carrying forward Bloomberg's legacy on
combating global warming.

The maps drawn up by the Federal Emergency Management Agency were wrong. And government
officials knew it. According to documents and interviews, state, local and federal officials had been
aware for years that the crucial maps of flood risks were inaccurate; some feared they understated the
dangers in New York City's low-lying area.

The Governor-Elect has an opportunity before him to send a signal that my concerns are misplaced and
that he will seek all reasonable paths to create the clean energy future that he has spoken about. That
opportunity is - in this case - countable to the tune of $75,000.

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China is poorly prepared to tackle the impact of climate change that presents a serious threat to the
country, thanks to a lack of planning and public awareness, the government said on Monday.

Nelson Mandela, who died yesterday, is best known for his fight against South African apartheid. But his
long walk to freedom also included steps toward solving this mammoth problem called climate change.

Environment & Health news:

A 4.5-magnitude earthquake in central Oklahoma shook residents Saturday, just weeks after the twoyear anniversary of the strongest earthquake ever recorded in the Sooner state.

Inside an unmarked trailer at the end of an unmarked dirt road about 15 miles north of the nation's
capital, a high-tech radar monitor beeps every 10 minutes in an effort to find out who is polluting
Maryland's air.

Unions and environmentalists have found one point of agreement in the bitter debate over the natural
gas drilling boom: fixing leaky old pipelines that threaten public health and the environment. It's a huge
national effort that could cost $82 billion.

Shanghai authorities ordered schoolchildren indoors and halted all construction Friday as China's
financial hub suffered one of its worst bouts of air pollution, bringing visibility down to a few dozen
meters, delaying flights and obscuring the city's spectacular skyline.

The Obama administration is enacting permanent protections for an endangered whale species. A new
rule to be published next week by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will
enshrine restrictions on ships along the Eastern Seaboard.

Conventional wisdom says environmentalism suffered a near-death experience in 2010, when a

sweeping climate change bill ran aground in the Democratic-run Senate. But aspiring eulogists for the
green movement have gotten ample material in the years before and since that failure.

A memo released quietly by regulators earlier this year has carved a major loophole in West Virginia's
rules restricting the amount of waste that can be accepted by the state's landfills, all with the intent to
ease a burgeoning problem caused by the boom in gas drilling, environmentalists say.

Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) is pressing Interior Secretary Sally Jewell not to consider withdrawn comments
about U.S. natural-gas development as it completes final regulations on hydraulic fracturing.

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While the administration has been pressing the City Council to ban packaging like foam cups and foam
takeout food containers from stores and restaurants, Dart Container Corporation, one of the largest
makers of such products, has been pushing back, arguing that contrary to what the mayor says, their
products can be recycled after they have been used. The company is even offering a kind of guarantee.

The Humane Society of the United States issued a consumer warning earlier this week, informing
consumers that Kohl's was selling "faux-fur" handbags made with real fur.

Ancient farming practices, such as raising fish in rice paddies in China or Aboriginal Australian fire
controls, will get a new lease of life under plans to slow extinctions of animals and plants, experts said
on Monday.

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