Thursday, January 16, 2014

WIMS Environmental HotSheet 1/16/14

<> Landrieu and Canadian Foreign Minister Discuss Urgency To Construct Keystone XL Pipeline - January 15, U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., and Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird discussed the urgent need to construct the Keystone Pipelines to secure North American energy independence.

  • Landrieu's Rise to Energy Panel Chair Seen Boosting Oil - Bloomberg - Dec 23, 2013 - Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana will probably become the chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee
  • Heitkamp, Canadian Foreign Minister Meet To Strengthen Energy Ties- U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) met with Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird to discuss and further strengthen the energy relationship between North Dakota and Canada. Heitkamp and Baird, who were also joined by Canadian Ambassador to the United States Gary Doer, discussed ways to improve rail transportation safety and the importance of the Keystone XL Pipeline to energy interests on both sides of the border.

<> House Approves Fiscal Year 2014 Consolidated Appropriations Package - House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers today applauded the House of Representatives for passing legislation to fund the government for the remainder of the 2014 fiscal year. The House approved the spending package on a vote of 359-67. "This legislation is one of our highest priorities as Members of Congress and it is critical to our ongoing economic stability and the safety and well-being. . .

<> EPA Releases Bristol Bay Assessment Describing Potential Impacts to Salmon and Water From Copper, Gold Mining / Agency launched study after requests for action to protect Bristol Bay watershed from large-scale mining - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released its final Bristol Bay Assessment describing potential impacts to salmon and ecological resources from proposed large-scale copper and gold mining in Bristol Bay, Alaska. The report, titled "An Assessment of Potential Mining Impacts on Salmon Ecosystems of Bristol Bay, Alaska," concludes that large-scale mining in the Bristol Bay watershed poses risks to salmon and Alaska Native cultures. Bristol Bay supports the largest sockeye salmon fishery in the world, producing nearly 50 percent of the world's wild sockeye salmon with runs averaging 37.5 million fish each year.

<> Safeguarding Future Retirement Funds - Time for Investors to Move Out of High-Carbon Assets Says UN's Top Climate Official - The UN's top climate change official Christiana Figueres today urged investors to accelerate the greening of their portfolios as one crucial step towards a low-carbon economy that can better cope with the threats and seize the opportunities from climate change

<> EPA Proposes Updates to Air Standards for Newly Manufactured Woodstoves and Heaters/Updates would make the next generation of woodstoves and heaters significantly cleaner and more efficient 

<> EPA Takes Important Step in Implementing the Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest Establishment Act (HQ) - WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today issued a final rule that is a crucial step in the development of a national electronic manifest (e-Manifest) system, which will upgrade the current paper-based system of tracking hazardous waste to an electronic one

<> Major Companies Disagree with Trade Groups on Climate Policy -

Several companies on the boards of powerful trade associations disagree with these groups on climate policy, according to a new report from the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

<> New Study: Corn Ethanol Reduces GHG Emissions by 37-40% Compared to Fracking and Tar Sands - (January 15, 2014) WASHINGTON — A comprehensive new study (with appendix) conducted by Life Cycle Associates found that the carbon footprint of corn ethanol continues to shrink, while the carbon impacts associated with crude oil production continue to worsen as more marginal sources are introduced to the fuel supply.  According to the report, "As the average carbon intensity of. . .

<> Chamber's Energy Institute Unveils Comprehensive New Energy Works for US Platform- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for 21st Century Energy today unveiled its comprehensive new Energy Works for US platform that reflects the new reality of America's energy revolution. Energy Works for US consists of 64 specific, actionable recommendations in nine key areas.

<> Five minutes is too close - A careful review of threats leads the Bulletin's Science and Security Board to conclude that the risk of civilization-threatening technological catastrophe remains high, and that the hands of the Doomsday Clock should therefore remain at five minutes to midnight.

<> New industry report touts enhanced pipeline safety and performance -WASHINGTON, January 15, 2014 ─ Pipelines are extremely safe and efficient for transporting energy across the United States, the industry's continual efforts to improve the safety of the nation's network of crude and petroleum product pipelines have reduced pipeline incidents by 62 percent from 2001-2012, according to a new report by API and the Association of Oil Pipe Lines.

<> Major Breakthrough for E15: MAPCO to Offer E15 in 2014

<> Press release - Plastic waste: Parliament sounds the alarm - The most hazardous plastics and certain plastic bags should be banned by 2020, as part of an EU strategy to reduce plastic waste in the environment, says the European Parliament in a resolution voted on Tuesday.

<> President Obama Announces New Public-Private Manufacturing Innovation Institute- North Carolina headquartered consortium of 18 companies and 6 universities partnering with the federal government to strengthen U.S. manufacturing WASHINGTON, DC – The President announceD new steps with the private sector to strengthen the manufacturing sector, boost advanced manufacturing, and attract the good paying jobs that a growing middle class 

<> Blue Sky Roadmap Report II: Real-time Disclosure Begins - The Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs and partners release the China Blue Sky Roadmap– Atmospheric Pollution Investigation Phase II Report, which finds that based on the real time disclosure of on-line monitoring data, a group of major emitters, including thermal power plants and steel factories, are seriously exceeding pollution discharge limits

  • China's big polluters exceed emission limits - report - BEIJING (Reuters) - Online emissons figures reported by most coal-fired power plants and factories in China surpassed government limits, a group of NGOs and research institutes said, warning that the situation is likely to worsen in July, when targets get tougher.

<> Bracewell & Giuliani Launches ShalePlay App - HOUSTON, Jan. 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- In response to the shale energy boom taking place in the United States and around the world, Bracewell & Giuliani LLP announced today it has launched the ShalePlay app. Powered by the firm's energy law and environmental law...

<> Investing in the Clean Trillion: Closing The Clean Energy Investment Gap - In 2010 world governments agreed to limit the increase in global temperature to two degrees Celsius (2 °C) above pre-industrial levels to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. To have an 80 percent chance of maintaining this 2 °C limit, the IEA estimates an additional $36 trillion in clean energy investment is needed through 2050—or an average of $1 trillion more per year compared. . . 

<> Green Groups: Leaked Trans-Pacific Partnership Environment Chapter Unacceptable- WikiLeaks posted a draft environment chapter of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that governments have negotiated in secret for nearly four years. TPP nations have billed the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement as an "ambitious, 21st-century trade agreement." However, a joint analysis of the WikiLeaks document, dated November 2013. . .

<> Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs: West Virginia Water Disaster Shows Need For Strong Environmental Standards - Every time we hear weaker regulation means a better economy, we should remember what  happened to the Elk River and the effects of the spill on working families in West Virginia.