President Obama has talked himself into a bind on the Keystone pipeline, which environmentalists turned into a litmus test for his commitment to fighting climate change. He might look for counsel to his own words, in 2005, arguing against the confirmation of John Roberts as chief justice of the Supreme Court.
Obama took the Senate floor on Sept. 22 to discuss President George W. Bush's nomination of Roberts. A senator for less than a year -- and looking more than eight years younger than he looks today -- Obama opened with his credentials: a decade as constitutional law professor at University of Chicago Law School and an active lawyer on the federal appeals circuit.Read more »
The U.S. State Department released its long-awaited report on the Keystone XL oil pipeline, which would connect the Alberta oil sands to the Gulf of Mexico. If you think it’s time to break out the shovels, this is not the Keystone decision that you think it is.
The environmental impact study says the pipeline won’t greatly boost oil-sands production or have a significant climate impact. The report calls for additional safety measures to prevent and deal with spills, but it’s generally being received as a thumbs up for the project. Whether you find yourself disappointed or delighted, the Keystone fight is far from over. Here are three of the biggest hurdles that remain:Read more »
Bloomberg BNA – A coalition of 17 foundations, representing almost $1.8 billion in investment, plans to divest from fossil fuel companies in its portfolios and invest more in clean energy, leaders of the effort said Jan. 30.
The Wallace Global Fund, the Ben & Jerry's Foundation, the Educational Foundation of America and others hope their “historic step,” the first divestment campaign led by a group of foundations, will encourage other philanthropies to follow suit.Read more »
Here are today's top reads:
- Enlightened power: New eco warriors are really well armed (The Grid)
- With energy, little is black or white. Here come the grey hats (The Grid)
- Foundations band together to get rid of fossil-fuel investments (DealBook)
- Snowden docs: U.S. spied on negotiators at 2009 climate summit (Huffington Post)
- Migration of monarch butterflies shrinks again under inhospitable conditions (NY Times)
- Asian cities most at risk of extreme weather (CNBC)
- Teachers oppose bill challenging mainstream science (Washington Post)
- Keystone foes say two pipelines are worse than one (Bloomberg)
- Global warming continues and won't be stopped by wishful thinking (Guardian)
- Renewables finance for 2014: Where will the cash flow? (Renewable Energy World)
Visit www.bloomberg.com/sustainability for the latest from Bloomberg News about energy, natural resources and global business.
Everyone seems to play together so nicely these days.
Australian mining giant BHP Billiton teamed up with two major environmental groups to preserve a 125,000-acre biodiversity "hotspot" in Chile, where the world's biggest woodpeckers live among the world's smallest deer.Read more »
Windmill-hugging Europeans announced a plan last week to get 27 percent of their energy from renewables by 2030. If they don’t watch out, they may soon be upstaged by an unlikely eco warrior: the U.S. military.
U.S. armed forces have a target that’s similar to Europe’s -- 25 percent renewables -- but is on track to meet it five years sooner. Europe’s plan took a lot of heat last week for being unenforceable. By contrast, U.S. military goals aren’t just aspirational; they’re law. This comparison isn’t to poke another finger at the EU proposal. Instead, it shows just how ambitious the U.S. military’s quest for renewables has become.Read more »
- Popular flood insurance law is target of both political parties (NY Times)
- California farms going thirsty as drought burns $5 billion hole (Bloomberg)
- Obama Vows More Executive Action on High-Tech Manufacturing, Climate (Scientific American)
- Obama doubles down on climate (Climate Desk)
- Branson's butanol heading to U.S. as ethanol substituted (Bloomberg)
- The 1969 oil spill that launched the modern environmental movement (Atlantic Cities)
- State of green business: Chemical transparency creates a window of opportunity (GreenBiz)
- Public support for fracking in Britain fall for a second time (Guardian)
- 2014: The year for a smart carbon tax (Just Means)
Read more »
Here are today's top reads:
- Obama urged to act alone on climate if Congress unwilling to pass legislation (Bloomberg)
- Genetic weapon against insects raises hope and fear in farming (NY Times)
- Keystone opponents use rail constraints to urge rejection (Bloomberg)
- DDT pesticide linked to Alzheimer's (BBC)
- Norway's sovereign fund halves coal exposure (Reuters)
- Kenyan energy bonanza fans violence in arid northern region (Bloomberg)
- This enormous Moscow park used to be a four-lane highway (Fast Company)
- The year in weather like never seen before (Climate Central)
- FEMA: Caught between climate change and Congress (InsideClimate News)
- The wrongful death suit that could finally define Uber (Atlantic)
Visit www.bloomberg.com/sustainability for the latest from Bloomberg News about energy, natural resources and global business.Read more »
Bloomberg BNA — As President Barack Obama prepares to give his Jan. 28 State of the Union address, advocates of greenhouse gas reductions are urging the president to turn up pressure on Congress to pass climate legislation while demonstrating his willingness to act alone in the face of congressional inaction.
The president in last year's address called on Congress to move forward on a market-based approach to reduce emissions but warned that if it was unwilling to act, he would use his executive branch authority to cut greenhouse gases and prepare local communities for more severe storms related to climate change.Read more »
InsideClimate News -- Thanks to climate change, extreme weather disasters have hammered the United States with increasing frequency in recent years—from drought and wildfires to coastal storms and flooding.
It is perhaps surprising, then, that the U.S. agency in charge of preparing for and responding to these disasters, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), doesn't account for climate change in most of its budget planning and resource allocation or in the National Flood Insurance Program it administers.Read more »