Policy

FERC prepares foray into carbon rule with conferences

The head of the agency that oversees the reliability of the U.S. electric power system said Wednesday her agency is prepared to serve as an “honest broker” among stakeholders as it launches a series of technical hearings on the proposed rule limiting carbon emissions from power plants.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Cheryl LaFleur told the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners that the integration of FERC’s work with EPA’s various environmental proposals “has the most ideological and political overtones of anything we've seen,” and she promised to facilitate an open conversation in the carbon rule hearings, scheduled to start Thursday.

Some hedge funds taking fresh bets on the energy sector

Source: 
The New York Times

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway may have been selling energy stocks in the fourth quarter, but other funds –- such as Third Point, Omega Advisors and Viking Global Investors -- were buying, The New York Times reports, citing Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

Citi climate program has $100B price tag

Source: 
The Hill

Citigroup is committing $100 billion for projects to help fight climate change, with CEO Michael Corbat adding that a goal will be to achieve sustainable growth, The Hill reports.

US to monitor global air pollution from diplomatic posts

Source: 
The Hill

A joint effort by the State Department and the Environmental Protection Agency – kicked off at a signing ceremony attended by Secretary of State John Kerry and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy -- will expand U.S. efforts to track overseas pollution, with diplomatic posts being used as monitoring stations and the data gathered to be posted on www.airnow.gov, The Hill reports.

Conservatives could use Kitzhaber as weapon in battle vs clean energy

Source: 
Politico

Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla. and chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee, says the departure of John Kitzhaber as Oregon governor because of questions about his fiancee’s consulting business should fuel further scrutiny into the activities of environmental groups, Politico reports.

Obama to designate 3 more national monuments

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is designating three new national monuments for protection as historic or ecologically significant sites, including the Pullman neighborhood in Chicago where African-American railroad workers won a historic labor agreement.

The White House said Obama will be in his hometown Thursday to announce the Pullman National Monument.

Kate Brown sworn in as Oregon governor; predecessor resigns

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Kate Brown was sworn in Wednesday as Oregon's governor following an influence-peddling scandal that prompted the resignation of fellow Democrat John Kitzhaber, who had been the state's longest-serving chief executive before his swift fall from grace.

Brown assumed Oregon's highest office during a ceremony at the state Capitol. Brown, formerly the secretary of state, becomes the first openly bisexual governor in the nation.

Dryers: Homes' energy guzzlers just got greener

For the first time in six years, Energy Star certification, a standard seal of approval for energy efficiency, has been expanded to include another major household appliance.

Clothes dryers, perhaps the last of the major household appliances to be included in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's program, became available in 45 Energy Star models starting Presidents' Day weekend, according to the EPA.

SEC Filing: Duke says it expects to settle criminal probe

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Duke Energy said Wednesday it expects to pay $100 million to settle an ongoing federal criminal investigation that began after a massive coal ash spill at a North Carolina plant.

The details are contained in an earnings report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The U.S. attorney's office in Raleigh began the investigation after a February 2014 spill at Duke's Eden plant coated more than 70 miles of the Dan River in toxic sludge.

Oil

Mexico puts some deep-water oil on hold amid crude's slide

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico's state-run oil concern is postponing some deep-water exploration projects in response to a steep drop in global crude prices, the company's director said Wednesday.

Emilio Lozoya, head of Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, also said there will be personnel cutbacks at the company, with details to be made known in the coming weeks.

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