Policy

Western energy conference to hear from Cheney

Source: 
The Montana Standard

Former Vice President Dick Cheney will be the keynote speaker at the Energy Exposition and Symposium due to be held in Montana starting Wednesday, an event attended last year by 250 companies and more than 4,500 people, The Montana Standard reports.

Kerry confronts threat of new war in Iraq

BAGHDAD (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry flew to Baghdad on Monday to meet with Iraq's leaders and personally urge the Shiite-led government to give more power to political opponents before a Sunni insurgency seizes more control across the country and sweeps away hopes for lasting peace.

The meeting scheduled between Kerry and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was not expected to be friendly, given that officials in Washington have floated suggestions that the Iraqi premier should resign as a necessary first step toward quelling the vicious uprising. Nor will it likely bring any immediate, tangible results, as al-Maliki has shown no sign of leaving and Iraqi officials have long listened to — but ultimately ignored — U.S. advice to avoid appearing controlled by the decade-old specter of an American occupation in Baghdad.

EU could toughen Russia sanctions: UK’s Hague

Source: 
Reuters

The European Union could slap tougher sanctions on Russia this week if it’s not satisfied with Moscow’s response to a peace plan proposed by Ukraine’s government, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Monday, Reuters reports.

Obama HUD pick Castro boosted solar in San Antonio

Source: 
National Journal

Julian Castro, the Obama administration choice to head the Housing and Urban Development Department – which will administer some resiliency and efficiency programs linked to climate change policy - made moves to boost solar power during his tenure as mayor of San Antonio, National Journal reports.

Opponents slam job claims for Calif. water project

Source: 
Los Angeles Times

A study backing the Bay-Delta Conservation project to bring water in tunnels to the Los Angeles and Central Valley areas in California says it will bring the state more than 15,000 job a year over a decade, a statistic dismissed by critics of the plan, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Putin urges Ukraine to talk to rebels

Source: 
The Wall Street Journal

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Kiev should negotiate unconditionally with separatist rebels battling in the country’s east if it wants to end the insurgency tearing Ukraine apart, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Australian PM introduces bill to repeal carbon tax

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Prime Minister Tony Abbott reintroduced legislation to the Australian Parliament on Monday that would repeal a carbon tax that the nation's worst greenhouse gas polluters have to pay.

The opposition center-left Labor Party and minor Greens party used their Senate majority in March to block the bills that would remove the 24.15 Australian dollar ($22.79) tax per metric ton of carbon dioxide that was introduced by a Labor government in July 2012. The bills were defeated 33 votes to 29.

But with new senators to take their seats on July 7 for the first time since Abbott's conservative coalition government took power in an election in September, the bills are expected to be passed by a narrow margin. Coal mining magnate and carbon tax critic Clive Palmer leads four new senators who have promised their allegiance to his influential Palmer United Party.

US mayors to vote on climate change resolution

DALLAS (AP) — U.S. mayors gathered in Texas will decide whether to endorse a call for cities to use nature to fight the effects of climate change.

Attendees of the U.S. Conference of Mayors are set to vote Monday on a resolution encouraging cities to use natural solutions to "protect freshwater supplies, defend the nation's coastlines, maintain a healthy tree cover and protect air quality," sometimes by partnering with nonprofit organizations.

The measure is backed by Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell, Houston Mayor Annise Parker and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton.

Oil drilling threatens solitude of national park

THEODORE ROOSEVELT NATIONAL PARK, N.D. (AP) — After the last hints of sunset dip behind the hills, the North Dakota horizon comes alive with flickering orange flames of a different kind — natural gas flares.

These tiny tongues of fire burn bright against the dark prairie just beyond the boundaries of Theodore Roosevelt National Park in the Badlands, where the man who later became the nation's 26th president sought solace after his wife and mother both died unexpectedly on the same day in 1884 in his native New York.

Today, the resurgent American oil industry is tapping into this rugged landscape, so the vistas that soothed Roosevelt's grief and helped instill his zeal for conservation now include oil rigs and flares used to burn off natural gas that comes to the surface.

France agrees to buy 20% stake in Alstom

PARIS (AP) — The final obstacle to General Electric's $17 billion takeover of Alstom's power division was overcome Sunday after the French government agreed to terms with the French engineering company's main shareholder.

Economy minister Arnaud Montebourg said on French television that the government will buy a 20-percent stake in Alstom from construction giant Bouygues SA.

The move fulfills his pledge to ensure that the French government would retain a say in jobs and decision-making at the company, which builds power plants and France's famed high-speed TGV trains. He did not comment on the final price of the stake to be bought from Bouygues.

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