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Today's Climate

January 9, 2015

(Wall Street Journal (sub. req'd))
The Polish government said it would close four coal mines to stave off bankruptcy at Europe's largest coal producer, a plan that was met with labor-union protests on Thursday.
London mayor Boris Johnson is risking children's health by blocking action to clean up London's poor air quality, the city's former deputy mayor has claimed.

January 8, 2015

(The Hill)
The Environmental Protection Agency is delaying its landmark climate regulations for power plants in what it said is an effort to better consider input on them and better align the major pieces of the regulations.
(New York Times)
The Environmental Protection Agency will force states to comply with a federal "model rule" to cut their carbon emissions if the states do not submit customized plans under the Obama administration's new climate change regulations, a senior official said Wednesday.
(Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
Chemical plants, coal mines, power plants, steel mills, oil refineries and even the maple syrup industry must disclose their releases of hazardous pollutants on the federal Toxic Release Inventory.
(Think Progress)
One Florida state representative introduced a bill this week that would ban fracking in his state, an act that comes on the heels of similar legislation introduced by two of his colleagues in the state Senate.
(The Canadian Press)
A proposed network of pipelines from natural gas fields in British Columbia's northeast to liquefied natural gas export plants in the northwest will not be permitted to pump oil and diluted bitumen, the provincial government says.
(National Journal)
Environmentalists know they will lose Friday's House vote to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, but they're scrambling around Capitol Hill with a humbling new goal: Stop a bipartisan landslide.
The White House does not feel pressure to loosen restrictions on U.S. oil exports further and views debate over the issue as resolved for now, John Podesta, a top aide to President Barack Obama, told Reuters in an interview.
While the falling price of crude oil is giving consumers cheaper energy, it's threatening long-term global pollution-control efforts.
(Wall Street Journal)
A proposed federal rule to cut greenhouse-gas emissions from U.S. power plants will weaken the nation's power grid and could even cause blackouts, say some of the officials who run the country's electricity network.
Kompania Weglowa SA, the European Union's biggest coal producer, will cut jobs, close mines and get financial aid from state-owned power utilities after the Polish government backed a rescue plan for its third-largest employer.
Australia is pressing ahead with huge new coalmining projects, just as a new study has calculated that more than 80 percent of the world's current coal reserves must remain in the ground to avoid dangerous climate change.
Federal health officials overlooked risks of inhaling the licorice-scented fumes of a chemical that spilled into West Virginia's biggest water supply last January, according to a study.

January 7, 2015

(The Hill)
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) objected on Tuesday to a Senate hearing on the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
(Sydney Morning Herald)
The carbon intensity of Australia's main electricity grid has surged since the end of the carbon tax, undermining the Abbott government's efforts to cut national emissions.
British lobbying to reduce monitoring of E.U. countries' action on climate change has sparked outrage among MEPs and environmentalists.
(New York Times)
Calling Aldo Rebelo a climate-change skeptic would be putting it mildly. In his days as a fiery legislator in the Communist Party of Brazil, he railed against those who say human activity is warming the globe and called the international environmental movement "nothing less, in its geopolitical essence, than the bridgehead of imperialism."
The nation's coal mines set a record for the lowest number of on-the-job fatalities last year, with 16, the federal mining agency said Monday.
"It is time for coal workers to do or die," a veteran union leader declared on Jan. 6, as some 500,000 Indian coal workers launched a massive, five-day strike that has already cut coal production by more than half—and pushed India’s power sector to the brink of a crisis.
(Wall Street Journal (sub. req'd))
Royal Dutch Shell PLC has agreed to pay about $80 million to compensate a Nigerian community for damage from two 2008 oil spills.
(Denver Post)
The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission on Monday approved much heavier penalties—including fines of $15,000 a day—for oil and gas well operators who violate state regulations.
(Fuel Fix)
Earthquakes that shook an Ohio town last year are linked to hydraulic fracturing, according to a study published in a scientific journal Tuesday.
North Dakota's legislature will decide how to divvy up oil tax revenue among the state's 53 counties, and whether to wave sales taxes on materials used to build natural gas pipelines and chemical plants in a biennial session starting on Tuesday.
(E&E Publishing)
California's landmark cap-and-trade program to limit carbon emissions just got bigger. Effective Jan. 1 it expanded to wrap in gasoline and diesel, a move oil companies have warned would trigger higher pump prices.
It's summertime in Australia, which means the fires are raging. Every year, the continent's sweltering temperatures and dry conditions create a toxic combination for bush fires that can threaten homes and lead to injuries and deaths. This season's wildfires are particularly damaging, destroying the largest amount of territory in more than three decades. The Insurance Council of Australia yesterday declared a catastrophe for regions near Adelaide in South Australia.
China, the world's biggest carbon emitter, will provide more support to non-governmental organizations that sue polluters.

January 6, 2015

While Republicans hope legislation approving the Keystone XL pipeline will pass a Senate vote on Friday, a key lawmaker told U.S. media the bill could fail to override a potential presidential veto as it might be short of just four supporting votes.
(The Hill)
A coalition of landowners, tribal leaders, and activists are protesting the Keystone XL oil pipeline's route through South Dakota this week.
(Detroit Free Press)
An oil cooling system on the turbine of a southwest Michigan nuclear power plant leaked oil into Lake Michigan for about two months, according to plant officials.