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“Cromnibus” Budget Continues to Dole Out Taxpayer-Funded Corporate Welfare to the Fossil Fuel Industry

Posted By Lowell F. on December 18th, 2014

As part of our continuing series on taxpayer-funded corporate welfare to the fossil fuel industry, we saw this article on Climate Progress (“6 Of The Worst Environmental Provisions In The ‘Cromnibus’ Spending Bill”) and thought it worth highlighting.  A few key points on how this “cromnibus” budget continues to coddle our fossil fuel welfare bum friends include:

  • It would “allow the Ex-Im Bank and OPIC to finance coal-fired power plants abroad, despite the fact that the Ex-Im Bank adopted guidelines last year that prohibited the financing of most coal-fired power plants, unless they used carbon capture technology.”
  • It cuts funding for the EPA, making it hard for the agency “which works on things such as cleaning up Superfund sites and enforcing basic public health protections,” to keep an eye on what the fossil fuel industry’s doing to our air and water.
  • It blocks funding to the Green Climate Fund, “an international fund aimed at helping developing nations deal with the impacts of climate change.”

Clearly, none of this is smart public policy. To the contrary, about the only reason you’d pass provisions like the ones listed above is if your goal was to do the bidding of the fossil fuel industry and their well-paid lobbyists in Washington, DC.

Five Energy Stories Worth Reading Today (12/18/14)

Posted By Lowell F. on December 18th, 2014

Here are five recommended reads for today (12/18/14).

  1. Inside Climate News reports: “New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo surprised environmentalists Monday when his administration banned hydraulic fracturing in the state, citing public health concerns. The move puts an end to years of heated debate between activists and the oil and gas industry—and could help buoy the case against fracking in hundreds of similar fights happening across the United States”
  2. According to Reuters, Chevron “is putting a plan to drill for oil in the Beaufort Sea in Canada’s Arctic on hold indefinitely because of what it called “economic uncertainty in the industry” as oil prices fall.”
  3. NBC reports: “Sr Richard Branson’s climate change-fighting foundation is aligning forces with one of the world’s most heady alternative energy think tanks to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy, the two organizations said Tuesday.” The alliance joins Branson’s “Carbon War Room and Amory Lovins’ Rocky Mountain Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing market-based solutions to drive global energy use away from fossil fuels.”
  4. An analysis by Barrons Asia concludes that “the impact of the [U.S. Departmnet of Commerce's anti-dumping ruling for Chinese solar companies] is limited.”
  5. Reuters reports, “Canadian oil producers deepened 2015 spending cuts on Wednesday, as Husky Energy , MEG Energy and Penn West Petroleum joined those hacking back capital budgets in response to tumbling crude prices.”

Five Energy Stories Worth Reading Today (12/17/14)

Posted By Lowell F. on December 17th, 2014

Here are five recommended reads for today (12/17/14).

  1. The New York Times reports, “The Commerce Department began closing a chapter in a protracted trade conflict with China over solar equipment Tuesday, approving a collection of steep tariffs on imports from China and Taiwan.”
  2. PV Tech has industry reaction to the Commerce Department’s decision on solar equipment tariffs.
  3. NRDC’s Switchboard blog writes: “Just over a month after his re-election, Governor Cuomo has been making waves on fracking—telling reporters in recent days that he will make a major decision before the end of the year….A new report out today from NRDC continues to pile on the reasons why now is not the time for the Governor to cave to industry pressure.”
  4. Renewable Energy World addresses the question, “Is India’s Grand Solar Vision Becoming Reality?”
  5. Reuters reports, “The Obama administration as soon as Wednesday will announce its plans for curbing methane emissions from the oil and gas sector, which the United States must do to meet its 2020 target for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, people familiar with the issue said Tuesday.”

Five Energy Stories Worth Reading Today (12/16/14)

Posted By Lowell F. on December 16th, 2014

Here are five recommended reads for today (12/16/14).

  1. According to the Los Angeles Times, “As Congress’ six-year obsession with Keystone nears a climax, plunging oil prices have industry analysts questioning whether the plan to link Canadian tar sands with Gulf Coast refineries still makes economic sense.”
  2. Greentech Media lists “5 Big Trends in Home Energy in 2014.”
  3. According to the Santa Cruz Sentinel: “Musk’s so-called gigafactory may soon become an existential threat to the 100-year-old utility business model. The facility will also churn out stationary battery packs that can be paired with rooftop solar panels to store power.”
  4. Midwest Energy News reports: “There’s at least one bipartisan piece of legislation moving through Michigan’s lame-duck session: A streamlined loan program for residential customers looking to install renewable energy or efficiency systems on their property.”
  5. DeSmogBlog writes: “U.S. newspapers are helping conservatives push their misleading ‘war on coal’ narrative, according to a new report…a Media Matters analysis of the 233 articles published in major U.S.newspapers this year that mentioned the phrase “war on coal” found that more than half ignored all of these underlying causes of the coal industry’s decline.”
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Five Energy Stories Worth Reading Today (12/15/14)

Posted By Lowell F. on December 15th, 2014

Here are five recommended reads for today (12/15/14).

  1. The New York Times reports, “Shortly before 2 a.m. on Sunday, after more than 36 straight hours of negotiations, top officials from nearly 200 nations agreed to the first deal committing every country in the world to reducing the fossil fuel emissions that cause global warming.”
  2. Politico asks, “Will cheap oil kill Keystone?”
  3. Bloomberg reports, “OPEC will stand by its decision not to cut output even if oil prices fall as low as $40 a barrel and will wait at least three months before considering an emergency meeting, the United Arab Emirates’ energy minister said.”
  4. DeSmogBlog explains “How Big Oil Got Expedited Permitting for Fracking on Public Lands Into the Defense Bill.”
  5. Bloomberg reports, “Shinzo Abe’s re-election as prime minister risks undercutting Japan’s commitment to clean energy at a time when incentives are under review and the nation’s utilities say they can’t accommodate capacity already planned.”
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