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Sunoco's Louisiana Oil Spill Revised Up to 189,000 Gallons

Nov 3, 2014
(AP via Fuel Fix)

Oil is flowing again through a 1,000-mile pipeline that broke in northwest Louisiana nearly four weeks ago.

Sunoco Logistics Partners LP spokesman Jeff Shields tells The Times of Shreveport that the total spill is now estimated at 189,000 gallons. That's up 21,000 gallons from the previous estimate. Sheilds says the partnership got a more accurate estimate after refilling the Mid-Valley Pipeline.

Fossil Fuels Should Be 'Phased Out by 2100,' IPCC Says

Nov 2, 2014
(BBC News)

The unrestricted use of fossil fuels must end soon if the world is to avoid dangerous climate change.

That's one of the key messages in a new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The IPCC outlines an approach that could see most of the world's electricity produced from low carbon sources by 2050.

Fossil fuels, without carbon capture and storage (CCS), would be phased out "almost entirely" by 2100.

TransCanada to File 'Energy East' Tar Sands Pipeline Application

Oct 30, 2014
(Wall Street Journal)

TransCanada Corp. will file an application Thursday with Canada’s main energy regulator for a proposed pipeline that would ship landlocked western Canadian crude to eastern Canadian refineries, and get the crude to Gulf Coast refineries.

The Calgary-based pipeline operator had initially planned to submit the application this summer but decided to make pre-emptive routing changes to address potential objections from communities along the way, the company’s chief executive told The Wall Street Journal this week. CEO Russ Girling also noted the complexity of putting together the 30,000-page application for the project, dubbed Energy East.

After Fracking-Well Blowout in Ohio, Most of 400 Families Evacuated Allowed Back Home

Oct 30, 2014
(The Columbus Dispatch)

From his fishing boat on a rural Jefferson County pond, Mike Poole could see the natural-gas wellhead less than a tenth of a mile away.

Poole spent part of his Tuesday afternoon on that boat with a friend and his dog. The well, at that time, was just part of the landscape.

By Tuesday evening, though, it had forced him from his home in Bloomingdale, Ohio.

Poole, who lives above the Mingo Sportsmans Club less than a mile from the well, was one of about 400 families to be evacuated after the well ruptured on Tuesday night, spewing natural gas and methane into the air.

EU: UN Climate Summit Will Fail Unless U.S. Sets Big Goal

Oct 29, 2014

The UN climate summit in 2015 will fail unless the United States sets "a concrete and ambitious" goal to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, EU climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard warned.

In an interview with AFP, Hedegaard said the European Union set the example for both Washington and Beijing when it pledged last Friday to cut EU emissions by at least 40 percent by 2030 compared with 1990 levels.
"We can do that in Europe because it's in our own interests but that in itself cannot solve the climate change issue," she said.
"The Americans have to come forward with something ambitious, something tangible and something concrete," Hedegaard added.

Keystone XL: Kerry Wants a Decision 'Sooner Rather Than Later'

Oct 29, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday during a visit to Canada that he would like to make a decision soon on TransCanada Corp's Keystone XL crude oil pipeline.

TransCanada has waited more than six years for the Obama administration to make a decision on the line, which would take as much as 830,000 barrels per day of Alberta tar sands crude to refineries on Texas' Gulf Coast.

The State Department is now awaiting the results of a court challenge on the line's routing through Nebraska and completing its own study on the need for the line before it makes a final recommendation to President Barack Obama on whether to grant the project a presidential permit. The permit would allow the line, which faces criticism from environmentalists, to cross from Canada into the United States.

Pipeline Protesters Arrested in Vermont After Converging on Gov.'s Office

Oct 27, 2014
(Burlington Free Press)

Dozens of protesters entered the Pavilion Building in Montpelier on Monday afternoon with demands for Gov. Peter Shumlin to reverse his support for expanding a Vermont Gas pipeline in the state.

More than 80 demonstrators intent on civil disobedience stayed past the building's closing time and beyond an extra protest window, vowing to be arrested Monday night. The first arrest occurred at 7:55 p.m.

The protesters and the police agreed a few minutes earlier that the demonstrators would be escorted from the building by law enforcement, ticketed at a nearby van, and then sent on their way.

Climate Panel Sees Risk of 'Serious, Pervasive & Irreversible' Warming

Oct 27, 2014

Climate change may have "serious, pervasive and irreversible" impacts on human society and nature, according to a draft U.N. report due for approval this week that says governments still have time to avert the worst.

Delegates from more than 100 governments and top scientists meet in Copenhagen on Oct 27-31 to edit the report, meant as the main guide for nations working on a U.N. deal to fight climate change at a summit in Paris in late 2015.

They will publish the study on Nov. 2.

Anti-Keystone XL Activists Plan Post-Elections Protest

Oct 24, 2014

After six years of administrative delays and internecine fighting, environmentalists’ last best chance to kill the Keystone XL could come during a 60 day window after next month’s election and before the new Congress gets sworn in.

The Obama administration controls the approval process for now, but if Republicans win control of the Senate, as expected, they plan to fast track legislation to greenlight the controversial pipeline. That gives opponents one more chance to try to convince the president to reject the pipeline before the landscapes shifts against them, which could happen if Republicans control both chambers of Congress come January.

China's Coal Use Falls for First Time This Century, Analysis Suggests

Oct 23, 2014

The amount of coal being burned by China has fallen for the first time this century, according to an analysis of official statistics.

China's booming coal in the last decade has been the major contributor to the fast-rising carbon emissions that drive climate change, making the first fall a significant moment.

The amount of coal burned in the first three-quarters of 2014 was 1-2% lower than a year earlier, according to Greenpeace energy analysts in China. The drop contrasts sharply with the 5-10% annual growth rates seen since the early years of the century.

"The significance is that if the coal consumption growth we have seen in China in the last 10 years went on, we would lose any hope of bringing climate change under control," said Lauri Myllyvirta at Greenpeace East Asia. "The turnaround now gives a window of opportunity."

Such a turnaround would potentially have a large impact on the biggest coal exporting countries such as Indonesia and Australia, which have profited from China’s demand for the fuel.

At the UN climate change summit in New York in September, China said it would start to reduce the nation's huge carbon emissions "as early as possible."

Myllyvirta warned that year-to-year fluctuations in energy use and industrial prediction could see coal burning grow again in future. "It may not be the peak yet, but it is a sign that China is moving away from coal." Climate scientists say that global carbon emissions need to peak by 2020 and rapidly decline to avoid dangerous climate change.

Myllyvirta said the greatest significance of the current drop in coal use was that economic growth had continued at 7.4% at the same time, although that is a lower rate than in recent years. "The Chinese economy is divorcing coal," he said. By contrast, the tripling of the Chinese economy since 2002 was accompanied by a doubling of coal use.