Policy

Auction sellout for California carbon permits at $11.50

Source: 
Bloomberg

Monday’s auction of carbon permits in California sold 22.5 million of them at $11.50 each, according to a web posting by the state’s Air Resources Board, Bloomberg reports.

Yellen speech awaited for any hint on rate timing

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two days after the Federal Reserve revealed an intensifying internal debate over interest rates, Chair Janet Yellen will address the annual Fed conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, with investors seeking any clear hints of when it will start raising rates.

The subject of Yellen's remarks Friday will be labor markets, which is the theme of this year's gathering of central bankers. Minutes of the Fed's July 29-30 meeting released Wednesday showed that officials engaged in a sharp debate over whether to raise rates sooner than expected if the economy keeps strengthening.

Obama faces options in Iraq and Syria

WASHINGTON (AP) — At the heart of President Barack Obama's quandary over the Islamic State militants is their haven in Syria.

The president may continue helping Iraqi forces try to reverse the group's land grabs in northern Iraq by providing more arms and American military advisers and by using U.S. warplanes to support Iraqi ground operations.

Coal gas boom in China holds climate change risks

HEXIGTEN, China (AP) — Deep in the hilly grasslands of remote Inner Mongolia, twin smoke stacks rise more than 200 feet into the sky, their steam and sulfur billowing over herds of sheep and cattle. Both day and night, the rumble of this power plant echoes across the ancient steppe, and its acrid stench travels dozens of miles away.

This is the first of more than 60 coal-to-gas plants China wants to build, mostly in remote parts of the country where ethnic minorities have farmed and herded for centuries. Fired up in December, the multibillion-dollar plant bombards millions of tons of coal with water and heat to produce methane, which is piped to Beijing to generate electricity.

It's part of a controversial energy revolution China hopes will help it churn out desperately needed natural gas and electricity while cleaning up the toxic skies above the country's eastern cities. However, the plants will also release vast amounts of heat-trapping carbon dioxide, even as the world struggles to curb greenhouse gas emissions and stave off global warming.

Perry presses for greater US involvement in Iraq

WASHINGTON (AP) — Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday pressed for a more aggressive U.S. military response in Iraq to combat Islamic state militants, including a sustained air campaign, and signaled he would support sending American ground troops.

"We need to have all of our options open," Perry told a standing-room-only crowd at the conservative Heritage Foundation.

The potential 2016 presidential candidate dismissed the "limited" air strikes that President Barack Obama has ordered as insufficient as the U.S. tries to help Iraqi and Kurdish forces regain control of large sections of Iraq.

NAM starts ad campaign against possible ozone move

Source: 
The Hill

Although Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy hasn’t yet moved to lower limits on ozone levels following a recommendation from EPA's scientific advisers to do so, the National Association of Manufacturers is ramping up its campaign against the prospect with ads in the election battleground states of Kentucky, North Carolina and Colorado criticizing what it calls “unrealistic new ozone regulations,” The Hill reports.

Vitter forum on EPA ozone rule

Lake Charles, La., August 22, 2014, 8:00 am

Sen. David Vitter holds listening session on EPA consideration of a new ozone standard and impacts on Louisiana. 

Acquiring federal lands could bring states costly firefighting headaches

Source: 
E&E

A study from a conservation group, the Center for Western Priorities, warns that states that take over federal lands face the risk of getting bankrupted by firefighting costs, E&E reports.

EPA photo

McCarthy touts pollution cuts, but sidesteps ozone debate

The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday said its latest status report on urban air pollution finds significant reductions in benzene, mercury and lead, among other toxics, but that additional reductions are needed, especially in low-income and minority communities.

Administrator Gina McCarthy told reporters that the data contained in its second Integrated Urban Air Toxics Report, sent to Congress as required under the Clean Air Act, showed "considerable gains in improving our air quality across the country." 

She declined to say, however, whether EPA is leaning toward a tougher ozone standard proposal, a prospect that has business and industry sounding alarms over what they say would be huge economic costs.  

Oil

6,500 tickets sold for Keystone opposition concert

NELIGH, Neb. (AP) — Organizers say nearly all the $50 tickets for a Willie Nelson and Neil Young concert organized by opponents of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline have been sold.

The group Bold Nebraska said in a statement Thursday more than 6,500 of the 7,000 tickets for the Sept. 27 concert had been sold since Wednesday.

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