Policy

Brookings forum on Paris climate change conference

Washington, October 16, 2014, 5:30 pm

Brookings Institution forum, "The Road to Paris: Transatlantic Cooperation and the 2015 Climate Change Conference." Comments to be made by State Department climate envoy Todd Stern and Laurence Tubiana, special representative of France to the conference.

Public Domain Photos

Environmentalists see uncertainty in new US approach to climate deal

The environmental movement responded cautiously Wednesday to State Department envoy Todd Stern's roadmap for clinching a new United Nations climate deal that would avoid binding carbon reduction targets in favor of voluntary limits.

Representatives from two environmental groups stressed Stern's approach was expected and may succeed in securing a deal in Paris late next year. But they questioned whether enough will be done after 2020 by the international community to reduce emissions and avoid catastrophic global warming.

EPA approves new weed killer for engineered crops

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency has approved a new version of a popular weed killer to be used on genetically modified corn and soybeans.

The EPA said Wednesday that it will allow the use of a 2,4-D weed killer called Enlist Duo, a new version of the popular herbicide used since the 1940s. It is designed to be used with genetically modified corn and soybeans approved by the Agriculture Department last month.

Fear rises in stock market as Dow drops 400 points

Fear is spreading in the stock market.

A monthlong drop in U.S. stocks intensified in afternoon trading Wednesday, sending the Dow Jones industrial average down more than 400 points and putting the index on track for its biggest loss in more than a year.

The drop was fueled by investor fears that Europe could slip into recession. Worrisome economic news in the U.S. also drove Wednesday's selling.

Budget deficit drops to $483B, lowest since 2008

WASHINGTON (AP) — The deficit for the just completed 2014 budget year was $483 billion, the lowest of President Barack Obama's six years in office, the government reported Wednesday.

It's the lowest since 2008 and, when measured against the size of the economy, is below the average deficits of the past 40 years. The deficit equaled 2.8 percent of gross domestic product, which is the economy's total output of goods and services.

State Department Photo

Stern: U.S. won't seek binding carbon cuts in climate talks

The U.S. wants a new United Nations climate deal next year that allows countries to set their own climate emissions cuts, State Department climate envoy Todd Stern said Tuesday, in his most expansive comments yet on the upcoming negotiations.

Stern's speech at Yale University largely confirmed reports that the Obama administration will back the so-called "name and shame" plan suggested by New Zealand that stresses voluntary commitments, combined with mandatory reporting and transparency.

Such a plan would also take the administration off the hook to submit a final deal to the Senate, where it would face substantial opposition.

Interior IG busy, but few investigations shown to public

Source: 
E&E

Documents obtained by E&E through a Freedom of Information Act request reveal that the Interior Department's inspector general finalized 457 investigations in 2013, but only three were released to the public.

Poneman headed to Harvard as fellow at science center

Source: 
The Hill

Former Deputy Energy Secretary Daniel Poneman announced Tuesday that he would join Harvard University's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs as a senior fellow, The Hill reports.

EnergyGuardian photo

Pioneer's Sheffield: shale output nearing US refiner limits

Pioneer Natural Resources Chief Executive Scott Sheffield, whose firm is one of two to get a federal green light to export lightly-processed oil condensates, on Tuesday called on the Commerce Department to approve all pending export applications.

Such an approval would push back by up to 18 months the coming problem of domestic light crude production exceeding U.S. refining capacity, he said at a forum hosted by the Aspen Institute in Washington.

Court hears water dispute between Kansas, Nebraska

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Tuesday considered how to resolve a long-running legal fight between Kansas and Nebraska over the use of water from the Republican River.

The justices appeared to agree with recommendations of a special master who found that Nebraska should pay $3.7 million in damages to Kansas for using more than its legal share of the river's water in 2005 and 2006.

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