Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Monday said he wants to bring up climate legislation after the mid-term elections this fall, though he made no firm pledge.
"I sure hope so," Reid, D-Nev. said when asked by a reporter during a conference call if a bill to put a price on carbon or otherwise address climate change was possible between the November elections and the end of the current Congress in early January.
The move by the Australian government under Prime Minister Tony Abbott to repeal a two-year-old carbon tax drew outrage from environmentalists and opposing politicians, saying the repeal makes Australia the only country to scale back progress on climate change, The New York Times reports.
SYDNEY (AP) — Australia's government repealed a much-maligned carbon tax on the nation's worst greenhouse gas polluters on Thursday, ending years of contention over a measure that became political poison for the lawmakers who imposed it.
The Senate voted 39 to 32 to axe the 24.15 Australian dollar ($22.60) tax per metric ton of carbon dioxide that was introduced by the center-left Labor government in July 2012. Conservative lawmakers burst into applause as the final tally was announced.
Billionaire climate activist Tom Steyer has publicly divested from fossil fuel firms, but his former hedge fund's past investments in foreign coal mines and power plants could overshadow his efforts to elect climate-minded lawmakers, The New York Times reports.
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — In 2007, Australians were ready to do something to combat climate change, even if it was expensive. More than two-thirds of them said so in a poll, and both major political parties vowed to make industries pay for greenhouse-gas emissions.
The undoing of that perspective will likely be complete after a new Senate is sworn in Monday. It's expected to give Prime Minister Tony Abbott the votes he needs to repeal a 2-year-old tax charged to around 350 of Australia's biggest carbon polluters. Three top political leaders lost their jobs over the issue as support for climate-change measures plummeted.
A global recession, political miscalculations and failed negotiations only partially explain the dramatic change.
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.
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — A trans-Pacific free trade pact could be agreed upon early next year before U.S. presidential election politics get in the way, Australia's trade minister said Wednesday.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, is aimed at cutting tariffs and setting trade rules, and is central to the Obama administration's attempt to boost American exports to Asia and re-orientate U.S. foreign policy toward a region of growing economic importance. The pact is seen as a precursor to a future wide free-trade arrangement for the entire Pacific Rim region.
Trade Minister Andrew Robb told a U.S. Studies Center conference in Canberra that there was no chance of an agreement being struck among the 12 nations this year.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Thursday praised ally Australia as a trusted military partner whose cooperation is providing the U.S. with added reach in the Asia-Pacific, but questions lingered about their differences on climate change.
Obama spoke to reporters after a one-hour meeting with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who thanked Obama for the deeper engagement by the U.S. in the Asia-Pacific region. He said Australia will be "an utterly dependable ally of the United States." It was Abbott's first White House visit since he was elected in September.
Neither leader mentioned climate change in their brief comments to reporters. But White House spokesman Jay Carney said they did discuss climate change in their private session and that Obama emphasized the need for countries to adopt "ambitious domestic climate policies as the basis of a strong international response." He said Obama believes climate change should be discussed in November's meeting of the Group of 20 industrialized and developing countries. Australia, which currently chairs the group, will host the meeting.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States has few closer allies than Australia but climate change could prove a touchy issue when Australia's conservative prime minister makes his first White House visit Thursday.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who was elected in September, arrives in Washington a week after President Barack Obama announced bold plans to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by nearly a third by 2030 from 2005 levels.
Abbott has described those as sensible steps but has made clear that he doesn't view the fight against global warming as a top priority and is set against action that could crimp Australian business. He plans to scrap Australia's carbon tax on polluters.
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who wants to remove Australia's unpopular carbon tax on industrial polluters, on Tuesday described President Barack Obama's plan to slash U.S. greenhouse gas emissions as sensible steps.
Abbott's conservative government faces resistance in the Senate to its plan to remove the 24.15 Australian dollar ($22.39) tax that Australia's 260 largest polluters pay for every metric ton of carbon dioxide that they produce. The tax was introduced by a previous government in 2012 as a transitional measure before Australia was to join the European Union's carbon emissions trading scheme in mid-2015.
In an Environment and Public Works Committee hearing Wednesday, Republican Sens. John Barrasso of Wyoming and David Vitter of Louisiana criticized Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy over charges that the Natural Resources Defense Council was the driving force behind the EPA’s rule limiting carbon emissions from existing power plants, but McCarthy replied that was a “discredit” to the hard work of her staff, E&E reports.
Madelyn Creedon, formerly assistant secretary of Defense, has received Senate confirmation to become the principal deputy administrator in the Energy Department’s National Nuclear Security Administration, the number two post in the NNSA, National Journal reports.
It’s unlikely any legislation to get states like Louisiana a bigger share of oil and gas revenue will be moving through the Senate anytime soon, and Energy and Natural Resources Committee chair Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., was realistic about the hurdles when she spoke about the issue Tuesday, E&E reports.
Freeport-McMoRan Inc. considers its best prospects for growth to be in deep water oil and gas fields in the Gulf of Mexico, vice chairman Jim Flores said Wednesday, adding that the company will likely sell off up to $5 billion worth of land-based assets to help pay for it, Bloomberg reports.
Looking back on the failed attempt to repeal the renewable portfolio standard in the state legislature’s recent session, Gov. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., on Wednesday reaffirmed his support for wind energy and urged a compromise between supporters and opponents of renewables, The Wichita Eagle reports.
Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning told reporters Wednesday that his company –- which is already building two new nuclear reactors in Georgia -– hopes to announce plans before the end of 2014 for more nuclear construction using the same AP1000 reactor design, Platts reports.
A Harris poll conducted for the American Petroleum Institute found 68 percent of those surveyed support offshore drilling, and Americans likewise back an increase in oil and gas production, FuelFix reports.
The Department of Energy loan program designed to encourage advanced technologies has around a 2 percent default rate and has used only 10 percent of a mandated reserve fund, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said Wednesday, The Hill reports.