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

House Passes Energy Efficiency Bill for Commercial Buildings

House Passes Legislation to Promote Energy Efficiency in Commerc

Bloomberg BNA – The House passed legislation March 4 that aims to boost the energy efficiency of commercial buildings leased to tenants on a strong 375-36 vote.

The Better Buildings Act, sponsored by Reps. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and David McKinley (R-W.Va.), would direct the Environmental Protection Agency to establish a Tenant Star program to promote energy efficiency in commercial spaces leased to tenants. That program would be similar to the existing Energy Star energy efficiency labeling program for appliances.

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President Proposes Cut To EPA Funding for Fiscal Year 2015

President Proposes 3.8 Percent Cut To EPA Funding for Fiscal Yea

Bloomberg BNA – President Obama's fiscal 2015 budget request includes $7.89 billion in funding for the Environmental Protection Agency, a cut of approximately $310 million, or 3.8 percent, compared to the agency's current funding level of $8.2 billion.

The budget request, released March 4, proposes to increase funding for categorical grants awarded to states and tribes and provide additional funding for various other agency programs, including the hazardous substance superfund program.

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Exploding Trains: Today's Top Reads

Good morning! Here are today's top reads:

  • California looks to the desert as Cadiz proposes tapping aquifer (Bloomberg)
  • Senator wants climate to play key role in presidential race (National Journal)
  • America could soon face more days of 'extreme rainfall' (Atlantic Cities)
  • Too much propane could be a factor in exploding oil trains (Inside Climate News)
  • Bulwark in Revolutionary War, town in Vermont faces heroin scourge (NY Times)
  • Angels and demons vie for momentum in energy transition (Bloomberg)
  • Unusual allies on green legislation (Wall Street Journal)
  • Coal firm to pay record penalty and spend millions on water cleanup in 5 states (NY Times)
  • Tasmania: A death warrant against pristine forests Abbott has never seen (Guardian)
  • What can venture capitalists do for recently-released prisoners? (National Journal)

Visit www.bloomberg.com/sustainability for the latest from Bloomberg News about energy, natural resources and global business.

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Too Much Propane Could Be a Factor in Exploding Oil Trains

Too Much Propane Could Be a Factor in Exploding Oil Trains

InsideClimateNews.org -- As federal regulators continue investigating why tank cars on three trains carrying North Dakota crude oil have exploded in the past eight months, energy experts say part of the problem might be that some producers are deliberately leaving too much propane in their product, making the oil riskier to transport by rail.

Sweet light crude from the Bakken Shale formation straddling North Dakota and Montana has long been known to be especially rich in volatile natural gas liquids like propane. Much of the oil is being shipped in railcars designed in the 1960s and identified in 1991 by the National Transportation Safety Board as having a dangerous penchant to rupture during derailments or other accidents.

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Angels and Demons Vie for Momentum in Energy Transition

John Browne

For many years, Lord John Browne was the average person's favorite oilman.

The 66-year-old engineer became CEO of British Petroleum in 1995. A series of high-profile acquisitions allowed him in 2000 to recast the company as BP -- an 'oil major' in the lingo -- with a beautiful new green logo. He set in motion do-gooder initiatives, famously embracing the risks of climate change in a May 1997 speech. These efforts pre-date those of Wal-Mart and General Electric, which are often credited with super-sizing the corporate sustainability movement, in the mid-2000s. They were a big deal.

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An E-Cigarette by Any Other Name: Today's Top Reads

Good morning! Here are today's top reads:

  • E-Cigarettes, by other names, lure young and worry experts (NY Times)
  • Obama seeks to boost resilience to climate-driven drought, fires (Bloomberg)
  • Louisiana's coastline is disappearing too quickly for mapper to keep up (Atlantic Cities)
  • North Uganda emerges from Kony threat to entice oil projects (Bloomberg)
  • Soil as carbon storehouse: New weapon in climate fight? (Environment360)
  • US judge hands win to Chevron, slams lawyer (Wall Street Journal)
  • Obama wants projects in parks, more onshore drilling (National Journal)
  • Marijuana legalization makes TV commercials funny (Bloomberg)
  • Australia in for hot days, higher fire risk, more droughts (Climate Central)
  • Why Fairtrade isn't fair enough (Guardian)

Visit www.bloomberg.com/sustainability for the latest from Bloomberg News about energy, natural resources and global business.

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Marijuana Legalization Makes TV Commercials Funny

Marijuana Smoker

Remember that really funny ad from the Super Bowl this year? Yeah, me neither. TV commercials just aren’t as funny as we’d like to remember them being. Fortunately, someone has discovered the secret ingredient that makes TV ads funny again: marijuana.

A company called MarijuanaDoctors.com, which hooks up patients with doctors who prescribe pot, has started airing what it claims is the first marijuana commercial on a major network. The minute-long spot will soon be playing in New Jersey, Chicago and Massachusetts on Fox, Comedy Central, CNN, ESPN, AMC, Discovery and, of course, the Food Channel.

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Precedent Exists for Obama to Authorize Crude Oil Exports

Precedent Exists for Obama to Authorize Crude Oil Exports, Sen.

Bloomberg BNA – There is sufficient precedent for President Barack Obama to approve crude oil exports using executive authority, according to Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Murkowski released a committee minority staff report March 3 citing five instances in which limited oil exports have been authorized by presidential discretion during the administrations of former presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

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Apple Stands up to Climate Skeptics: Today's Top Reads

Here are today’s top reads:

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A Watchdog 'Defanged': Today's Top Reads

Good morning! Here are today's top reads:

  • China may build biggest smog lab to control pollution (Bloomberg)
  • EPA set to reveal tough new sulfur emissions rule (NY Times)
  • Legal trade can save endangered wildlife (Wall Street Journal)
  • Women's health harmed as medical studies miss gender differences (Bloomberg)
  • Why the mayor of Copenhagen wants to get into the marijuana business (Atlantic Cities)
  • Native Americans vow a last stand to block Keystone XL oil pipeline (Washington Post)
  • Hundreds of students arrested as activists press Obama to nix Keystone (National Journal)
  • China's toxic air pollution resembles nuclear winter (Climate Central)
  • Ash spill shows how watchdog was defanged (NY Times)
  • Walmart puts product suppliers on notice about chemicals (GreenBiz)

Visit www.bloomberg.com/sustainability for the latest from Bloomberg News about energy, natural resources and global business.

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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
eroston@bloomberg.net

Tom Randall, Deputy Editor
trandall6@bloomberg.net

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