User: flenvcenter Topic: Energy-Independent
Category: Fossil Fuels :: Coal
Last updated: Feb 13 2016 04:33 IST RSS 2.0
 
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Why the U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Will Not Derail Climate Action in China 13.2.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
The U.S. Supreme Court's decision to temporarily halt implementation of President Obama's Clean Power Plan until the courts reach a final decision on the legal merits has raised concerns in other countries about the ability of the U.S. to meet its climate commitments. Yet as NRDC President Rhea Suh explained , this ruling cannot reverse the global shift away from dirty fossil fuels towards cleaner, smarter ways to power our future. In particular, it will have little effect on the ambitious climate plans of China, the world's largest carbon emitter. China's climate actions are grounded squarely in its own self-interest and driven by concerns about air pollution, energy security and the country's own vulnerability to the devastating impacts of climate change. China also recognizes that moving away from coal-powered heavy industry and investing heavily in low-carbon technology are keys to its long-term economic growth. An excellent recent report, China's Low Carbon Future Offers Global Opportunities ...
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Why Climate Activists Must Seize On The Oil Price Crash 12.2.2016 Commondreams.org Views
Nick Cunningham

The utter collapse in oil prices over the past year and a half presents a unique opportunity for climate action, a temporary period in which measures to restrict the production and consumption of fossil fuels could be more politically palatable than at any other moment to date.

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The Climate Post: Supreme Court Suspends Clean Power Plan 12.2.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
The U.S. Supreme Court blocked the Clean Power Plan, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's rule limiting greenhouse gas emissions from the existing fleet of fossil fuel-fired power plants on Tuesday. The court, in a 5-4 decision split along party lines , put a stay on enforcement of the Clean Power Plan, which is designed to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. "We remain confident that we will prevail on the merits," said the White House in a statement . "Even while the litigation proceeds, EPA has indicated it will work with states that choose to continue plan development and will prepare the tools those states will need." But others felt the move could be indicative that the Clean Power Plan will not survive legal scrutiny. "Should the D.C. Circuit uphold the rule, I think the stay is indicative that the court is likely to want to hear this case," said Scott Segal , a partner in Bracewell LPP's Policy Resolution Group. "Even the most ardent ...
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China's struggle to turn the corner on coal 11.2.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Air Pollution in Beijing by 大杨 @flickr In early February, Chinese officials announced that no new coal production would be approved for the next three years, while existing production will be reduced by 500 million tons in the next three to five years. The latest State Council decision is an economic one, tied to market reforms that are likely to kill jobs in the heavily industrial coal and steel sectors, but the move is also consistent with China's environmental policy and carbon reduction goals. These targets, aimed at improving air quality and public health in Chinese cities while advancing the nation's compliance with global carbon emissions agreements, cannot be achieved without meeting the formidable challenge of weaning China away from its reliance on dirty coal. There is good news on that front, even as millions of Chinese continue living in Beijing or Shanghai under toxic clouds of smog and constant public health alerts. It's hard for Westerners to envision just how bad coal-related pollution in ...
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Despite Supreme Court, Clean Energy and Climate Progress Are Full Speed Ahead 11.2.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Let's make one thing perfectly clear - while the Supreme Court's decision yesterday to put a temporary hold on the Clean Power Plan was disappointing, it won't revive the fortunes of the coal industry, slow the transition to clean energy, or cripple progress toward meeting the climate commitment the US made in Paris last year. Yesterday's decision means the Supreme Court is temporarily pausing the Clean Power Plan from going into effect, while the courts consider the merits of the case. As that legal process unfolds, likely into 2017, something else will continue unfolding as well - the steady progress of the Sierra Club and our allies to retire coal plants and replace them with clean energy. As we outlined in a report released late last year , our strategy gives us a pathway to meet our climate targets, even as the Clean Power Plan makes its way through the courts. Thanks to coal retirements and the rise of clean energy, US carbon emissions are at their lowest level in two decades and are continuing to ...
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Caving to Coal Interests, Supreme Court Blocks Key Climate Action 10.2.2016 CommonDreams.org Headlines
Nadia Prupis, staff writer

In a startling ruling Tuesday night, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked President Barack Obama's sweeping plan to lower greenhouse gas emissions, pending resolution of a last-gasp lawsuit filed against the initiative by the coal industry.

Voting 5-4, the justices ordered the Obama administration not to implement the Clean Power Plan (CPP) until it has been reviewed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, with arguments set for June 2.

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Army of Lobbyists Push LNG Exports, Methane Hydrates, Coal in Senate Energy Bill 5.2.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Cros-Posted from DeSmogBlog As the U.S. presidential race dominates the media, it is easy to forget that both chambers of the U.S. Congress are currently in session. The U.S. Senate has put a major energy bill on the table, the first of its sort since 2007 . The 237-page bill introduced by U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) -- S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015 -- includes provisions that would expedite the liquefied natural gas (LNG) export permitting process, heap subsidies on coal technology, and fund research geared toward discovering a way to tap into methane hydrate reserves . As we saw with the lifting of the U.S. crude oil export ban , which was part of a broader congressional budget bill, a DeSmog investigation reveals that these provisions once existed as stand-alone bills pushed for by an army of fossil fuel industry lobbyists. The list of lobbyists for S. 2012 is a who's who of major fossil fuel corporations and their trade associations: BP, ExxonMobil, America's Natural Gas ...
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Carbon Tax: The Low Oil Price Opportunity 4.2.2016 Commondreams.org Views
Richard Heinberg

Carbon taxes constitute a widely discussed policy tool for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and slowing humanity’s headlong rush toward catastrophic climate change. Taxing energy from fossil fuels makes that energy more expensive, thereby making renewable energy comparatively cheaper.

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Risky Business: Court Requires EPA to Issue Financial Assurance Rules for Industries Handling Hazardous Waste 4.2.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
By Katie Schaefer and Greg Wannier Hardrock mining has left a toxic legacy in communities across the country. Under a new court-approved settlement, EPA must issue regulations that will force companies to set aside money to clean up the messes they make. Last Friday, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a settlement Sierra Club and other environmental groups reached with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that establishes a timeline for the agency to issue regulations ensuring that polluters--not taxpayers--pay to clean up their toxic messes. The settlement resolved litigation brought by the Sierra Club, Idaho Conservation League, Earthworks, Amigos Bravos, Great Basin Resource Watch, and Communities for a Better Environment, represented by Earthjustice, seeking regulations requiring facilities that produce hazardous waste to maintain evidence of their financial ability to cover cleanup costs. These financial assurance regulations are long overdue: for more than 30 years, the ...
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Climate Change This Week: The New Coal, Hot Water, Clean Energy Justice, and More! 3.2.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Today, the Earth got a little hotter, and a little more crowded. When we harm forests, we harm ourselves. Unique Giraffe Beetle, another biodiversity wonder, is threatened as Madagascar's forests continue to be destroyed. Wikipedia OO International Embargo On Exports Of Precious Woods Extended - by the international regulating CITES committee, even as the country fails to enforce the current one that allows the continued destruction of dwindling, threatened forests. Humanity Continues to Eat Forests Source Mongabay.com OO Global Deforestation Is Speeding Up - over 60% between 1990-2010, according to a new analysis of satellite imagery, countering a previous global UN FAO study, which looked at land use changes, not tree cover loss. Ultimately, even with the best-case slowdown scenario: deforestation is still happening at an unsustainable pace; every year, there is much less primary forest, more species, many unnamed, become endangered or go extinct, and destroyed forests emit more planet-warming carbon ...
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Supreme Court Preserves Climate Gains and Lowers Electricity Bills 2.2.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
As we watch the coal industry and state allies pull out all the stops to block progress and delay the landmark Clean Power Plan in the Supreme Court as early as this week, it is worth noting that the Supreme Court very sanely rejected another such effort last week. In a low-profile but high-impact decision to advance clean energy progress, the Court preserved a central role for a critically important clean energy resource -- demand response -- in meeting our power needs. Demand response saves Americans billions of dollars each year, eases the burden on the power grid, and helps to bring more clean energy online. (Photo credit: iStockphoto) The case was Federal Energy Regulatory Committee (FERC) v. Electric Power Supply Association (EPSA), and at stake was the future of demand response in our wholesale electric power markets. As the Court nicely summarized, demand response is the practice of meeting power demand by paying electricity "users to dial down their consumption" rather than "paying power plants ...
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Polluters' Last-Ditch Bid to Stay Clean Power Plan Faces Long Odds at Supreme Court 2.2.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Just days after the federal court of appeals in Washington rejected their bid to block President Obama's Clean Power Plan, the coal industry and its political allies are pleading for immediate relief from the U.S. Supreme Court. Coming after a string of failed attempts to stop the carbon pollution standards, the polluters' latest gambit faces long odds. Jumping over an appeals court that's in the midst of reviewing federal regulations is a highly unusual, perhaps unprecedented maneuver. The High Court almost never gets involved this early, before any lower court has issued a decision on the merits. To explain what's going on, let's start with the procedure. Using a tactic normally reserved for last-minute appeals to block irrevocable acts such as executions or deportations, the states, coal companies, utilities, and trade associations opposed to the Clean Power Plan filed papers last week with Chief Justice John Roberts - the Justice assigned to the D.C. Circuit appeals court - asking for a "stay" of ...
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If These Ads Work, They'll Be Irrelevant In 5 Years 2.2.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Five years from now, Jonathan Beamer wants different rivals. Two weeks after unveiling a new slate of TV commercials, the chief marketing officer of SolarCity -- the solar panel company chaired by billionaire Elon Musk -- said he hopes future ads won’t be focused on the problems that come of burning fossil fuels. “My guess is that, in five years, we’ll be much farther along in the process of realizing that coal and oil and gas are dirty and are behind us,” Beamer told The Huffington Post by phone on Monday. Ads for solar panels will then compete with other renewable energy producers instead. SolarCity rolled out three 30-second animations last month meant to juxtapose the simplicity of generating solar against the complicated and environmentally damaging process behind coal, gas or oil. In one, a narrator speaking at an auctioneer’s pace explains how coal becomes electricity. A prehistoric dragonfly fossilizes into coal, which is then extracted by coughing workers and shipped by a smoke-spewing train. ...
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Is Vietnam abandoning new coal too? 29.1.2016 TreeHugger
It has one of the biggest pipelines of proposed new coal plants. But now those plans may be changing.
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Coal Bankruptcy 101: Companies Are Leaving Workers and Communities In the Lurch 29.1.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Coal company bankruptcies have been making headlines in 2016 , as the nation shifts to clean energy, and that has left many people worried and wondering about what it means for the workers, communities, mountains, and streams that are in danger of being left behind. Bankruptcy proceedings are a complicated legal labyrinth, and a place where decisions on all these issues are made. The Sierra Club is fortunate to have talented attorneys on our staff who know how to navigate and represent us in these proceedings, and today I'm sharing a "coal bankruptcy 101" post by our attorney Peter Morgan, as a primer and resource at this pivotal time. There's just so much at stake, and it's essential for community, worker, and environmental advocates to have a voice as these decisions are made. As we saw this week, in the bankruptcy proceedings for one of the nation's biggest coal companies, Alpha Natural Resources, the company is pushing to secure $11 million in executive bonuses, while ditching retirement and health ...
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Obama Takes a Walk on the Greener Side 28.1.2016 Truthout.com
Until now, President Barack Obama has embraced gas and oil fracking, encouraged the construction of new nuclear reactors, and hailed government investment in wind and solar power . In keeping with this " all-of-the-above " energy strategy, he'd call for climate action one minute and sign off on measures destined to boost carbon pollution the next. Suddenly, it looks like Obama may have ditched his inherently contradictory approach. "We've got to accelerate the transition away from dirty energy," he asserted during his final State of the Union address. "I'm going to push to change the way we manage our oil and coal resources, so that they better reflect the costs they impose on taxpayers and our planet." Just three days later, the Obama administration moved in that direction by declaring a three-year moratorium on new leases to mine coal from federal land. Obama's speech also cast switching to renewable energy and phasing out fossil fuels in a business-friendly light. "We're taking steps to give ...
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Good News: China's Dropping Coal Consumption Is Putting the Brakes on Global Carbon Emissions 28.1.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
New analysis finds that China holds the key to achieving the 2 degree Celsius global climate goal reaffirmed by 195 countries last month in Paris. According to research by Barclays Bank , China accounts for 33-40 percent of the carbon emissions gap between current trends and a 2 degree Celsius pathway. This is not surprising, since China was responsible for over one-quarter of the world's carbon emissions in 2014, more than the U.S. and the European Union combined. The good news is that China is moving forward much faster than anyone expected to cut its coal use and CO2 emissions, with enormous implications for public health, the environment, and climate. These trends are expected to continue. In fact, China is now on a path to achieving its Paris climate commitments well before its 2030 target date. China's physical coal consumption, after increasing at an annual rate of 8.8 percent from 2000-2013 and falling by 2.9 percent in 2014, dropped an additional 5 percent in 2015 , even while the economy ...
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Coal Baron Wants Court Date Moved So He Can Attend The RNC 27.1.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
WASHINGTON -- Robert Murray, the chief executive of coal giant Murray Energy Corp., is suing the head of the Environmental Protection Agency over new rules limiting emissions from power plants. But his lawyers have asked a federal judge to postpone his trial date so he can attend the Republican National Convention this July. In a motion filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia last Friday, Murray's counsel asked that the trial date be moved so that he can attend the convention. The RNC will take place in Cleveland from July 18 to 21, and the trial was initially slated to begin July 19. Murray, says the motion, is a "very active member of the Republican Party, both nationally and in Ohio, where Murray Energy Corporation is based," as well as a member of the host committee for the convention. His commitments require him to be in Cleveland for the scheduled date of the trial.  Greenwire and Law 360 covered the motion on Tuesday. Murray serves as the chief executive officer ...
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Climate Change This Week: Solar Job Boom, US Blizzard Gloom, and More! 27.1.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Today, the Earth got a little hotter, and a little more crowded. It's a Cuke! It's a Popsicle! No, no, it's a ... Caterpillar! from an Asian rainforest: one more reason to preserve these carbon-storing ecosystems. Source bayucca at flickr OO A Cheap, Fast Way to Slow Sea Rise: Save and Regrow Tropical Forests - says an expert, as nations continue to curb carbon emissions. Source ajunglescientists.wordpress.com Forests: the cheapest way to store carbon * * OO 2015 Blew Away Previous Records To Become Earth's Hottest Year - The combination of a record strong El Niño event plus the highest amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at any time in human history have given the climate system the equivalent of a Power Bar plus a shot of espresso. OO Climate Change Disaster Is Biggest Threat To Global Economy In 2016 - say experts. Global warming heads top economists' concerns for the first time. ** Jonas was a Whale of a Blizzard with a 1,000 mile long front dumping near record levels of snow from Virginia ...
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Energy Lobbyists Gather, Blame Obama and the Pope 27.1.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Last week, on the day after the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that 2015 was by far the hottest year on record, the energy industry's chief lobbyists gathered in a downtown Washington ballroom to tell each other that the real problem was not global warming, but rather efforts by the Obama Administration -- and Pope Francis -- to contain global warming. The remarks of these lobbyists suggested that many of them live on a different planet, where climate change is not an urgent challenge but rather is the obsession of ideological malcontents. The meeting, held annually, is sponsored by the United States Energy Association, whose chieftains are not the CEOs of America's oil, coal, and gas companies. Rather, they are the heads of the Washington-based trade associations that lobby against regulation of greenhouse gases and toxic pollution. They mostly are former corporate lawyers or Capital Hill functionaries who worked their way up and now receive enormous-for-DC salaries to serve at ...
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