A Massachusetts power plant recently cited by federal regulators as one of the state's heaviest polluters is planning to shut down.
Owners of the coal-fired Brayton Point Power Station in Somerset filed papers Monday indicating the plant will no longer provide power to the region's electricity grid when it is retired as of May 2017.
The announcement came just months after the plant was sold by Virginia-based Dominion to Energy Capital Partners, a private equity firm with offices in New Jersey and California. Dominion bought the plant in 2005.
A Koch Energy Services LLC unit will buy a natural gas-fired power plant in Texas, the company said on Tuesday, confirming that the purchase of the 1,055-megawatt Odessa Power plant from an affiliate of Energy Capital Partners LLC will be the Koch unit's first foray into the power generation market.
Koch Energy Services itself is a unit of Koch Industries Inc , of the largest privately held companies in the United States. The plant is near the Permian Basin of West Texas where energy companies tapping into tight deposits of oil and gas have a growing and voracious appetite for electricity.
Koch Industries is a closely held company that does not reveal much information about its many subsidiaries.
Water scarcity will increase around the world due to climate change, with more than 500 million people affected if mean global warming is limited to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), based on modeling studies by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, or PIK.
An additional 8 percent of humankind may face new or worse water scarcity with 2 degrees warming, the target set by international climate negotiators, the German government-funded institute wrote in a news release today. That could reach 13 percent in the case of a 5-degree-Celsius rise, which is probable if climate change goes on unchecked, PIK said.
About 1.3 billion people already live in water-scarce regions, according to the institute. The institute calculated 152 scenarios using 19 climate change models, and said the projections for the affected population by 2100 carry a greater than 50 percent confidence.
A campaign to persuade investors to take their money out of the fossil fuel sector is growing faster than any previous divestment campaign and could cause significant damage to coal, oil and gas companies, according to a study from the University of Oxford.
The report compares the current fossil fuel divestment campaign, which has attracted 41 institutions since 2010, with those against tobacco, apartheid in South Africa, armaments, gambling and pornography. It concludes that the direct financial impact of such campaigns on share prices or the ability to raise funds is small but the reputational damage can still have major financial consequences.
"Stigmatization poses a far-reaching threat to fossil fuel companies – any direct impacts of divestment pale in comparison," said Ben Caldecott, a research fellow at the University of Oxford's Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, and an author of the report. "In every case we reviewed, divestment campaigns were successful in lobbying for restrictive legislation."
The report is part of a new research program on stranded assets backed by Aviva Investors, HSBC, Standard & Poor's and others. It found: "The fossil fuel campaign has achieved a lot in the relatively short time since its inception."
Some major investors, such as the $74bn Scandinavian asset manager Storebrand, have already pulled their funds from coal stocks. But the researchers found that even if the maximum possible capital was divested by university endowments and public pension funds, the total was relatively small compared to the market capitalization of traded fossil fuel companies and the size of state-owned enterprises.
However, the team concluded: "The outcome of the stigmatization process, which the fossil fuel divestment campaign has now triggered, poses the most far-reaching threat to fossil fuel companies and the vast energy value chain."
Analyzing previous campaigns, the researchers found examples of stigmatized companies being shunned by governments and being barred from public contracts or acquiring licenses. "Stigma attached to merely one small area of a large company may threaten sales across the board," the report found, citing the examples of Motorola dumping its defense business due to bad press and Revlon's decision to disinvest from its South African operation after customer groups threatened a boycott.
The report also found instances when customers, suppliers and potential employees were scared off by stigma and where stigma had led shareholders to demand changes in the management of companies.
Bill McKibben, the environmental campaigner who leads the 350.org divestment campaign which is expanding from the US into Europe this autumn, said: "This divestment campaign is just one front in the climate fight, but of all the actions people can take to bring about structural change, it's probably the easiest. Severing our ties with the guys digging up the carbon won't bankrupt them--but it will start to politically bankrupt them, and make their job of dominating the planet's politics that much harder."
Mayflower homes were demolished Monday so that the oil trapped underneath the foundations can be removed. So far, Exxon Mobile has purchased 5 homes in the Northwoods subdivision. North Starlite is the street most affected by the spill that sent roughly 200,000 gallons of oil into the neighborhood.
Six months after the Pegasus pipeline burst, two homes that were never clear for reentry were demolished. In a few weeks, it will be green space.
In less than 4-hours, a single back hoe tore both homes down that have been purchased by Exxon mobile. Exxon Mobil spokesperson, Aaron Stryk says soil test indicated oil got beneath the foundation of three homes. "It was determined that demolition would be an efficient and effective way to remove all of that oil from underneath the foundations."
The U.S. Supreme Court meets later this week to consider whether to undertake a legal review of the Obama administration's first wave of regulations tackling climate change.
For the second week running on Monday, the nine justices took no action on the cases, but the court later in the day listed them on its online docket for its next private meeting on Friday. That is when they will decide what new cases to take.
The court will likely announce what action it will take only on Tuesday, Oct. 15.
The nine petitions pending before the court, filed by states and industry groups, were not mentioned in a list of cases the court declined to hear on Monday, the first day of oral argument in a term that runs through June.
Heather Zichal, the top White House adviser on energy and climate change, is leaving the administration of President Barack Obama after five years.
"Heather will be missed here at the White House, but our work on this important issue will go on," White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said in a statement today.
Zichal helped develop the program Obama unveiled in June to tackle climate change, and led a federal task force about the boom in hydraulic fracturing and shale-gas production.
No replacement has been named, and the White House didn’t offer details on Zichal’s next job.
Under fields, past homes and across waterways, a pipeline has run through one of Canada's most populous corridors for nearly four decades, quietly pumping oil between southern Ontario and Montreal.
While it hasn't generated much national attention in the past, Line 9 is now being thrust into the spotlight as the company that operates it seeks approval to reverse its flow and increase its capacity.
On one side of the debate that will take place before the National Energy Board in Montreal and Toronto this month is Calgary-based Enbridge Inc., (TSX:ENB) — which insists safety is its top priority — and on the other are residents and environmentalists who suggest the project will put a number of communities at risk.
President Obama's former choice to lead the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) said Koch-backed groups and The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board waged a successful campaign to mischaracterize his views and record.
Ron Binz, facing huge hurdles in the Senate, last week withdrew as the White House nominee to become the next FERC chairman.
“I know that they have writers on their board that are very conservative and very plugged in to the same organizations that opposed my nomination,” Binz said of the Journal, which ran several pieces attacking Binz on its opinion pages.
"I can only assume that’s the connection. They were probably the first movers in this effort to paint a fictional Ron Binz, and they were very successful at it
Transportation officials from around the world on Friday reached a preliminary agreement to develop global rules by the end of the decade that would control airline emissions. The action by the International Civil Aviation Organization, a United Nations body, represents the first major move toward industrywide rules to limit carbon pollution.
But the agreement is also a blow for the European Union. During the general assembly of the United Nations aviation agency, a number of countries continued to reject European regulations, increasing pressure on the region to scale back or repeal one of its flagship environmental laws.