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JLN Environmental/Energy: Administration Presses Ahead With Limits on Emissions From Power Plants; Ozone Treaty Offers Quicker Fix for Global Warming; California law to regulate fracking signed by governor

In this edition, continuing coverage of the Obama administration’s push ahead with enacting the first federal carbon limits on the nation’s power companies. The NY Times follows up with Challenges Await Plan to Reduce Emissions. German elections held the globe’s attention. We dive into the contest’s energy implications in Merkel romps to victory but faces tough coalition choices from Reuters. And, the Wall Street Journal’s German Business Demands New Energy Policy.

Quote of the Day:

“That’s the 10-billion-dollar question. People are trying to set the table for the arguments that will be made in (the debate over rules for existing plants).”

–Brendan Collins, a lawyer at Ballard Spahr LLP, in Bloomberg’s “Obama’s Carbon Rules Seen as New Battleground for EPA.”

Lead Stories

Administration Presses Ahead With Limits on Emissions From Power Plants
The New York Times
A year after a plan by President Obama to limit greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants set off angry opposition, the administration will announce on Friday that it is not backing down from a confrontation with the coal industry and will press ahead with enacting the first federal carbon limits on the nation’s power companies.
http://jlne.ws/16zFTJS

Challenges Await Plan to Reduce Emissions
The New York Times
The Obama administration’s potentially pathbreaking proposal for carbon emission limits on new power plants will face political and legal challenges from opponents who argue that the technology needed has not been close to being proven as the law requires.
http://jlne.ws/17V6SCy

EPA Unveils Plan to Curb Emissions From New Coal Plants
The Wall Street Journal
The Environmental Protection Agency unveiled its proposal to limit greenhouse gases from new coal-fired power plants, setting up a battle with companies that say tougher standards require the use of costly and largely unproven technology.
http://jlne.ws/18Pel33

Obama’s Carbon Rules Seen as New Battleground for EPA
Bloomberg
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed limits on power-plant emissions blamed for climate change is a broad new battleground for an agency that has spent four decades focused on the local impact of pollutants such as lead, mercury and ozone.
http://jlne.ws/1bzDOUW

New Coal Plants Must Capture Carbon Dioxide Output: EPA
Bloomberg
New coal-burning plants will be required to limit the carbon dioxide they release under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s first regulations aimed at curbing climate change by power generators.
http://jlne.ws/18jDNzD

Merkel romps to victory but faces tough coalition choices
Reuters
Angela Merkel won a landslide personal victory in Germany’s general election on Sunday, but her conservatives appeared just short of the votes needed to rule on their own and may have to convince leftist rivals to join a coalition government.
http://jlne.ws/19vg1zJ

Germany’s Effort at Clean Energy Proves Complex
The New York Times
It is an audacious undertaking with wide and deep support in Germany: shut down the nation’s nuclear power plants, wean the country from coal and promote a wholesale shift to renewable energy sources.
http://jlne.ws/1dBDrYm

German Business Demands New Energy Policy
The Wall Street Journal
Germany’s most influential business lobby demanded a radical overhaul of the country’s ambitious plan to shift to renewable energy in the coming years, warning that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s blueprint would undermine the economy and cost jobs.
http://jlne.ws/16S4dKj

Ozone Treaty Offers Quicker Fix for Global Warming
Bloomberg
A plan to cut some of the Earth’s most potent greenhouse gases and combat climate change is gathering support.
http://jlne.ws/16Rsr7t

UN climate report will not sway US deniers
AFP
The upcoming UN report on climate change is not likely to rattle US deniers of global warming who hold sway in the halls of power, experts say.
http://jlne.ws/1afyZfI

Arctic Sea Ice Melted Less This Year Than 2012’s Record
Bloomberg
Arctic sea ice rebounded in 2013 from last year’s record melting season, though scientists warned that the long-term trend is for the ocean to become increasingly ice-free in the summer.
http://jlne.ws/14wEgyM

Abandoned Quarries Headed to Become Energy-Storage Hubs in U.K.
Bloomberg
A U.K. company plans to turn abandoned quarries and mines into energy-storage facilities that can absorb power from intermittent sources such as the sun and wind for use when demand peaks.
http://jlne.ws/18jE71b

California law to regulate fracking signed by governor
Reuters
California’s first regulations on fracking and related oil production practices will go into effect next year in the most populous U.S. state under a bill signed into law on Friday by Democratic Governor Jerry Brown.
http://jlne.ws/18jry87

Texas, Where Oil Rules, Turns Its Eye to Energy Efficiency
The New York Times
In Texas, where oil lubricates the economy the same way it does pickup trucks, energy consumption is no exception to the state’s everything-is-bigger reputation. The nation’s leading energy producer also uses more energy by far than any other state.
http://jlne.ws/1dBE1Fr

Events

EMA’s 17th Annual Meeting
September 25-27
Las Vegas, Nevada
http://jlne.ws/192w3CR

Climate Strategies Forum
Association of Climate Change Officers
October 14-17
Washington, D.C.
http://jlne.ws/14cGFtN

Verge: Where Tech Meets Sustainability
October 14-17
San Francisco, California
http://jlne.ws/1bAKXT4

FT Global Shale Energy Summit
October 21
London
http://jlne.ws/1cemi7d

Solar Power International
October 21-24
Chicago
http://jlne.ws/184e0wa

Climate Leadership Conference
Association of Climate Change Officers
February 24-26, 2014
San Diego, CA
climateleadershipconference.org/

Carbon

Norway Drops ‘Moon Landing’ as Mongstad Carbon Capture Scrapped
Bloomberg
Norway dropped plans for a full-scale carbon capture plant at its Mongstad refinery after cost overruns and delays, ending a project that was dubbed as the country’s “moon landing” by Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.
http://jlne.ws/1gPfr3E

French carbon tax to yield 4 bln euros in 2016
Reuters
A carbon tax to be introduced in France next year will generate 4 billion euros ($5.4 billion) in receipts by 2016 to help fund sweeping energy-effiency goals, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said on Saturday.
http://jlne.ws/19usIuD

Natural Gas/Coal

France must cut reliance on oil and gas, says Hollande
Reuters
France should aim for a 30 percent cut in fossil fuel use by 2030, President Francois Hollande said in a speech on Friday which included plans for a carbon tax from 2014 and a tax break on home insulation to help consumers save energy.
http://jlne.ws/19qR2ys

U.S. natgas rig count slips from six-month high -Baker Hughes
Reuters
The number of rigs drilling for natural gas in the United States slid by 15 this week after posting a six-month high the previous week, data from Houston-based Baker Hughes showed on Friday. The gas-directed rig count dropped to 386 this week after climbing last week to its highest since March 22. It was the first gas rig count decline in three weeks.
http://jlne.ws/15N02zt

Cheaper Illinois coal slows U.S. power market switch to natgas
Reuters
Cheaper, dirtier Illinois coal is giving cleaner burning natural gas a run for its money as a fuel for electric power plants, helping the coal market slow the rate at which utilities are switching to abundant, less-expensive gas.
http://jlne.ws/16qS3DI

Many European LNG terminals face idling, seek new activities
Reuters
Many European import terminals for shipped gas may have to be idled because of falling deliveries unless they try their hands at alternative businesses such as ship-fuelling stations.
http://jlne.ws/1gPsPEV

China Finds Resistance to Oil Deals in Africa
The New York Times
In Niger, government officials have fought a Chinese oil giant step by step, painfully undoing parts of a contract they call ruinous. In neighboring Chad, they have been even more forceful, shutting down the Chinese and accusing them of gross environmental negligence. In Gabon, they have seized major oil tracts from China, handing them over to the state company.
http://jlne.ws/1aWZXK5

Power

U.S. Revives Aid Program for Clean Energy
The New York Times
The Obama administration has decided to revive a controversial loan guarantee program at the Energy Department, administration officials said on Thursday, even as the program remains under Congressional scrutiny after losing hundreds of millions in taxpayer money on investments in failed green energy start-ups like the solar module maker Solyndra.
http://jlne.ws/1b4YHbo

Reliance, Areva Solar-Thermal Plant to Start, PTI Says
Bloomberg
A Reliance Power Ltd. (RPWR) solar-thermal power project will start in October after a five-month delay, the Press Trust of India reported, citing builder Areva SA. (AREVA).
http://jlne.ws/1ezW0Pt

EnBW spending on hold over pending elections: paper
Reuters
German utility EnBW has put on hold investments worth billions of euros in offshore wind energy because decisions on future state aid have been delayed pending the outcome of federal elections, its chief executive told a newspaper.
http://jlne.ws/1fqC9kM

Hungary in Talks to Buy Back Major Utilities
The Wall Street Journal
Hungary is in talks with six to seven major utility companies about nationalizing them in an attempt to reduce the country’s high energy prices, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said Friday.
http://jlne.ws/16S33OP

RECs

India Offers Credit to Cuba for Renewable Energy Projects
Bloomberg
India is offering lines of credit to Cuba to set up renewable-energy projects that would help reduce the Caribbean nation’s dependence on oil imports.
http://jlne.ws/15iEBbb

Water

Sand dams: A simple, effective way to save water in the desert?
The Christian Science Monitor
The discovery of a lake the size of Delaware beneath a Kenyan desert this month may prove to be a game-changer for precious water needs in arid East Africa.
http://jlne.ws/1gPdLY0

Reports

Global 500 Climate Change Report 2013 (Posted September 12, 2013)
CDP
http://jlne.ws/16mBo8p

The Future of China’s Power Sector (posted August 27, 2013)
Bloomberg New Energy Finance
http://jlne.ws/14Bk1k2

Sub-national involvement in NAMA development (posted August 7, 2013)
Ecofys’ International Climate Policies Unit
http://jlne.ws/19LKChs

U.S. Energy Sector Vulnerabilities to Climate Change and Extreme Weather (Posted July 14, 2013)
U.S. Dept. of Energy
http://jlne.ws/12z1YK5

Turn down the heat: climate extremes, regional impacts, and the case for resilience (Posted June 19, 2013)
World Bank
http://jlne.ws/14KrLza

Four energy policies can keep the 2 Degree C climate goal alive (Posted June 10, 2013)
IEA
http://jlne.ws/12Bpk41

Maneuvering the Mosaic: State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2013 (Posted June 10, 2013)
Ecosystem Marketplace
http://jlne.ws/12Cyi0X

View all reports >

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About Author

Koning Beals is a contributing editor to JLN Environmental/Energy.