Sustainability Blog - The Grid
InsideClimateNews.org—What might the oil- and gas-rich Eagle Ford Shale region of South Texas look like in 2018?
A newly released but largely unnoticed study commissioned by the state of Texas makes some striking projections:
Good afternoon! Here are today's top reads:
- China cuts in coal use may mean world emissions peak before 2020 (Bloomberg)
- Fake seeds force Ugandan farmers to resort to 'bronze age' agriculture (Guardian)
- U.S. drought retreats 15 percent in one year (Climate Central)
- Deadly bat disease found in Wisconsin, Michigan (Scientific American)
- New global scorecard aims to promote urban development without cars (Reuters)
- Cancer 'miracle' patients studied anew for disease clues (Bloomberg)
- How the U.S. power grid is like a big pile of sand (National Journal)
- Environmentalists doing it wrong, again (Washington Post)
- 'Dinosaurs of the turtle world' at risk in Southeast U.S. rivers (Science Daily)
Visit www.bloomberg.com/sustainability for the latest from Bloomberg News about energy, natural resources and global business.
Bloomberg BNA — Research on the local impacts of shale gas development finds a host of positive and negative impacts, with the long-term consequences still to be determined, according to scholars reviewing different aspects of the activity.
Three scholars speaking April 10 at the think tank Resources for the Future described a very mixed picture of economic benefits, local burdens, and both increases and decreases in property values.
Bloomberg BNA — Senior Environmental Protection Agency officials consulted with at least 210 separate groups representing a broad range of interests in the Washington, D.C., area and held more than 100 meetings and events with additional organizations across regional offices as the agency prepared its carbon pollution regulation for existing power plants.
Data provided to Bloomberg BNA upon request show the agency held meetings with a broad range of unions, lawyers, publicly traded companies, trade groups, governmental agencies and state organizations and participated in several dozen events such as conference calls and conferences as the EPA prepared the proposed standards ahead of an anticipated June release.
Bloomberg BNA — The Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water Quality advanced measures April 8 seeking to impose a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing activities at oil and gas fields in California and to update the state's oil spill response program to address the risks of importing crude oil by rail.
Both bills now head to the Senate Committee on Environmental Quality for further action.
James Cameron directed the two highest-grossing movies of all time, Avatar and Titanic. This week he premieres The Years of Living Dangerously, a nine-part Showtime documentary about climate change.
That makes him the ideal target for this question: 'Rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic' is a common cliche about how international climate talks never seem to go anywhere. Given your work on climate change and the Titanic, that sound right to you?
Global investment in renewable energy last year declined for the second year in a row. Even worse: For the first time since renewables became plausible, growth in new capacity slowed.
"Is this the clean-tech crash?" asked Michael Liebreich, chairman of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, to start his keynote at the group's annual summit in New York.
For proponents of new energy, there's some bad news and some good news.
Global renewable energy investment dropped 14 percent last year from 2012, to $214 billion, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). That's 23 percent off the peak, reached in 2011, according to a new report, Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2014. The good news is the drop in investment comes largely as a result of lower prices, according to Michael Liebreich, BNEF's founder.
Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond said England would risk power brownouts without supplies from his region.
“We export a substantial amount of electricity to England and will continue to do so,” Salmond said at the Bloomberg New Energy Finance conference in New York today. “If we didn’t, that 2 percent capacity margin would be minus 2 percent. So you would have brownouts.”
Bloomberg BNA — The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration proposed $9.78 million in civil penalties against pipeline operators for alleged violations of federal law in 2013, the agency announced April 7.
PHMSA said in a statement that 2013 saw the highest yearly amount of proposed penalties in the agency's history. The agency has proposed more than $33 million in penalties in pipeline enforcement cases since 2009, while seeing the number of serious pipeline incidents resulting in fatalities or major injuries decline each year during that time period, according to PHMSA.