The Grid: Energy, Resources, Environment, Sustainability | Bloomberg

Bloomberg BNA — A Houston man who allegedly sold more than $29 million in fake renewable fuel credits to ConocoPhillips, Tesoro Corp., Citgo and other oil companies was indicted by the Justice Department on 68 charges, including wire fraud, money laundering and mail fraud.

Philip Joseph Rivkin sold about 45 million fake renewable identification numbers representing millions of gallons of non-existent biofuel to oil companies that were required to buy them under federal energy law, according to charging documents filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas June 19.

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Bloomberg BNA — Defense Department spending on biofuels, electric vehicles, solar panels and other “green energy” programs advocated by the Obama administration would be prohibited under a $570 billion bill funding Pentagon operations for fiscal year 2015 that the House passed June 20.

The prohibition, adopted as an amendment to the Department of Defense Appropriations Act (H.R. 4870), restricts the DOD from complying with executive orders and laws that require it to “squander billions” of dollars on clean energy programs, according to its author, Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.).

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Bridge Collapse

Americans like low taxes and cheap gas. So the idea of raising the federal gasoline tax should be, and generally has been, a double no-brainer. The levy per gallon hasn't budged in 20 years.

Two U.S. Senators upended this logic yesterday by calling for a 12-cent per gallon rise in the federal gasoline tax in the next two years. If the low-tax, cheap-gas orthodoxy continues to prevail, they argue, then the country will have to either borrow more money than it already does or stop building roads. Neither option sounds desirable to anyone who thinks the U.S.’s credit cards are already overdrawn. Or anyone who relies on highways for personal transportation or for the delivery of goods to nearby stores.

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Hungry as a Honey Bee: Today's Top Reads

Good afternoon! Here are today's top reads:

  • Russian $8.2 trillion oil trove locked without U.S. technology (Bloomberg)
  • As robotics advances, worries of killer robots rise (NY Times)
  • A massive global map of where all the cattle, pigs and other livestock live (Fast Company)
  • German beermakers look like winning their battle to stop fracking (Guardian)
  • The EPA doesnt kill coal jobs. Better mining does (Bloomberg)
  • Clean power plan exempts major CO2 emitters (Climate Central)
  • All the food, using half the water (Scientific American)
  • California is feeding its bees artificial nectar to keep them from starving (National Journal)
  • How face wash pollutes water (Atlantic)
  • Cubans find preparing for climate change hard, expensive and essential (ClimateWire)

Visit The Grid for the latest about energy, natural resources and global business.

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The EPA Doesn't Kill Coal Jobs. Better Mining Does

Barges loaded with coal outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

In the two weeks since President Obama proposed new rules to regulate power-plant carbon emissions, legislators from from coal states have rallied around a cry to save jobs. But job-killing environmental regulation historically doesn't kill as many jobs as mechanization and low natural gas prices.

The U.S. has lost more coal jobs since 1978 than it has today, and climate policy isn't the reason. There wasn't any. Coal companies are in the business of producing coal, not jobs. Between 1978, when the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration started collecting data, and 2013, the U.S. shed more than 132,000 coal jobs, or nearly 52 percent of its workforce, according to MSHA data.

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Coal's Great Year: Today's Top Reads

Good afternoon! Here are today's top reads:

  • Coal's share of world's energy demand at highest since 1970 (Bloomberg)
  • Grass is greener for the future of biofuels (Climate Central)
  • China official rebuked for blaming lead poisoning on pencils (Guardian)
  • Australia sees Obama climate change plan as all talk, no action (Bloomberg)
  • “Thinking of ways to harm her” (NY Times)
  • Sustainability doesn’t mean less profit, it means profit forever (Fast Company)
  • Gentoo penguins thrive, while Adelies and chinstraps falter in a climate changed world (Scientific American)
  • Head injuries didn’t rise in bike-share cities. They actually fell (CityLab)
  • Deforestation leaves fish undersized and underfed (BBC)
  • Researchers hope ‘super banana’ will combat Vitamin A deficiency (Time)

Visit The Grid for the latest about energy, natural resources and global business.

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Bloomberg BNA — Car buyers in the southern city of Shenzhen could be required to purchase carbon quotas along with their vehicles as early as next year if the city's pilot carbon trading program is expanded, a city official said.

Shenzhen, which is among a half dozen areas of China that are experimenting with carbon trading, could add private vehicles and other parts of the transportation sector to the carbon trading mix as early as next year, Vice Mayor Tang Jie said June 11.

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How to Watch World Cup Soccer in the U.S. for Free -- Legally

It isn’t always easy cutting the cable cord. Most countries offer full World Cup soccer broadcasts for free. In the U.S., Disney, through its ESPN network, wants you to pay.

But for the devout cord-cutter unwilling to pay even for the best television (I’m looking at you, Game-of-Thrones hackers), there is an answer. This one is free and legal, and you don’t have to jump through a bunch of computer-security hoops to do it.

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The Top Ten Beers in the World Aren't What You Think 

Beer Festival in China

Here’s a trivia question for your drinking buddies: what’s the world’s most popular beer? Bud Light? Budweiser? A decade ago, those answers would be right on the money.

The money is moving.

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About The Grid

Nations and companies face rising competition for strategic resources — energy, food, water, materials — and the technologies that make best use of them. That's sustainability. It's about the 21st-century race for wealth, health and long-term security, across the global grid.

Analyses or commentary in this blog are the views of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloomberg News.

Eric Roston, Editor

Tom Randall, Deputy Editor

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