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

White House Says Sequestration Would Cut Millions for Water, Air

A series of automatic spending cuts scheduled to begin taking effect March 1 would result in an estimated $154 million reduction in federal funding for state environmental programs, according to the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

The council, in a Feb. 25 email, said the spending cuts would “severely undermine” efforts to ensure that air and water are clean. 

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Business Leaders Call for Expanding Fossil Fuel Tax Break

Bloomberg BNA -- Congress should expand a tax incentive reserved for the fossil fuel industry known as master limited partnerships to the renewable energy industry, a coalition of chief executive officers said in a report released Feb. 25.

That recommendation was among dozens a energy policy proposals in a report released by the Business Roundtable that also included approval of the Keystone XL pipeline by the Obama administration and ensuring that future regulations on hydraulic fracturing are “consistent” with industry best practices and state regulations. 

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Obama May Expand Oil Drilling to Pay for Clean-Car Research

Obama's Plan To Fund Clean Cars with Oil Royalties Faces Test

InsideClimateNews.org -- With a couple of lines tucked into his State of the Union speech this month, President Obama pitched the tent for a three-ring circus starring advocates with competing agendas: controlling greenhouse gases, expanding fossil fuel development and conserving open spaces.

The idea Obama proposed would siphon $2 billion from the swelling oil and gas royalties the government expects to collect over the next decade and devote it to federally sponsored clean-car research that has been starved for cash. The question is what he will have to give up in negotiations to get what he wants.

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Investors Demand Climate-Risk Disclosure in 2013 Proxies

Investors Show Greater Interest in Climate Change Risks

Bloomberg BNA -- Shareholders are filing resolutions asking companies to disclose physical risks posed by climate change for the first time this proxy season, according to representatives of sustainable investor groups.

Shareholders also are continuing to file an increasing number of sustainability related resolutions asking companies to set greenhouse gas emission reduction goals, publish sustainability reports, pursue energy efficiency, and disclose information about hydraulic fracturing operations.

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How Diageo Cut Its Carbon 38 Years Early

The Inside Story of Diageo's Stunning Carbon Achievement

This is the exclusive, short story of how Diageo North America, with creativity and guts, both in operations and in the senior ranks, achieved the holy grail of carbon emissions reductions. They did it without using carbon offsets — and about 38 years earlier than they had to.

Here's what scientists are telling us: the world must cut carbon emissions by at least 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050 to (we hope) avoid the worst of climate change. This level of change seemed like a pipe dream to many, including me... until I spoke last fall to Roberta Barbieri, the global manager for environmental sustainability for Diageo, the $17 billion spirits company. Imagine my shock, as we talked about setting aggressive goals on carbon emissions, when she casually mentioned that Diageo's North American division — a group with $5.58 billion in sales and 14 production and manufacturing facilities — had already cut emissions 80 percent.

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Moniz: Shale Gas Boom a Low-Carbon Solution—for Now

InsideClimateNews.org -- The likely nomination of nuclear physicist Ernest Moniz to lead the Department of Energy has drawn criticism from some environmentalists who say his support for natural gas and close ties to industry would undermine efforts to tackle climate change. Moniz strongly favors natural gas as a "bridge fuel" and directs the MIT Energy Initiative, a research program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that is funded by some of the world's largest fossil fuel companies.

"His appointment to the DOE could set renewable energy development back years," said a statement released by Food and Water Watch. The environmental group is circulating a petition opposing Moniz's nomination.

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Court the Right: Advice for Obama's Next Energy Department Chief

Solyndra Judge’s Approval of Bankruptcy Plan Faces Appeal by IRS

Congratulations, and welcome to the President’s second-term Cabinet.

The headquarters building of the U.S. Department of Energy is named for James Forrestal, the former Navy and Defense Secretary who suffered from depression and fell from a window to his death at Bethesda Naval Hospital in 1949. The building is a lifeless, sterile place — a boxy relic of the 1970s. Its workers are often demoralized; among the cynical, DOE’s motto is: “Ashamed of our past, afraid for our future.”

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Environmental Impact Grows Along With Increased Commitment

Bloomberg BNA -- While corporations worldwide are adopting environmentally sustainable practices, unfortunately, their impacts on ecosystems continue to increase.

That's according to a new study detailed in a report, State of Green Business, released Feb. 12 and published by GreenBiz Group Inc. of Oakland, Calif.

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Sierra Club Director Among 48 Arrested at Keystone XL Protest

Cross posted from Bloomberg.com's Political Capital blog.

The Sierra Club abandoned 120 years of precedent and let its leaders defy police in a protest against the Keystone XL pipeline outside the White House yesterday. 

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The Most Influential Climate Study Few People Know About

The Most Influential Climate Science Paper Today Remains Unknown

InsideClimateNews.org -- It is probably the most influential paper on climate science today. But few outside scientific circles even know it exists.

Though just six pages long, its dense, technical writing makes it largely incomprehensible to non-experts. And yet this paper is transforming the climate change debate—prompting the financial world to rethink the value of the world's fossil fuel reserves and giving environmental activists a moral argument for action.

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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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