International efforts to control emissions ahead of the next round of climate talks have been hit hard by Australia repealing its pioneering carbon tax, which has left Europe isolated in its efforts, The Wall Street Journal reports.
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SYDNEY (AP) — Australia's government repealed a much-maligned carbon tax on the nation's worst greenhouse gas polluters on Thursday, ending years of contention over a measure that became political poison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.
Sluggish demand, higher North American production, an increase in gasoline inventories and a stronger dollar are pushing oil prices down, so far more than 4 percent lower on the week. U.S. benchmark crude for September delivery dropped 64 cents to $97.53 in electronic trading on the Nymex, while Brent crude was 18 cents lower in London, to $105.84, Bloomberg reports.
The U.S. response to improving its nuclear power industry in the wake of the disaster at Fukushima Dai-ichi three years ago has so far cost around $3 billion, with the most important objective to guarantee that reactors and spent fuel would stay cool even in extreme conditions, an official told the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Thursday, Platts reports.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s water office will have no official leader, now that acting Assistant Administrator Nancy Stoner is departing and nominee Ken Kopocis, who has been awaiting confirmation for more than 1,100 days, is still facing hostility from Republican senators opposed to the EPA’s rule known as Waters of the United States, or WOTUS, E&E reports.
Exelon Corp. will buy Integrys Energy Services from its parent Integrys Energy Group for $60 million, adding the unit – which has 1.2 million customers in 22 states and Washington, D.C. – to its Baltimore-based business arm Constellation, the Green Bay Press-Gazette reports.
In the wake of propane shortages caused by last winter’s bitter cold, Midwestern lawmakers from both sides of the aisle – Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc., and Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio – have joined forces to introduce a bill intending to better information on propane supply and pricing, improve coordination in response to shortages and help farmers get tanks for the fuel, The Hill reports.
Continuing on with its focus on increasing its returns, Occidental Petroleum reported a gain in net income that also beat analysts’ expectations, to $1.43 billion, or $1.82 a share in the second quarter, FuelFix reports.
Lower natural gas prices and higher operating costs hurt the bottom line for Southwestern Energy in the second quarter, as the oil and gas company said its second quarter profit dropped 16 percent, falling to $207 million, or 59 cents a share, despite increased production in the Fayetteville and Marcellus Shale plays, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The system at Goldman Sachs N.Y. headquarters, where ice is frozen in tanks at night and used the next day in its air conditioning, is an example of how thermal storage can save money and use energy more efficiently, Bloomberg reports.
The Kurdistan Regional Government is loading a fifth shipment of oil at the Turkish port of Ceyhan, having sent it there through an independent pipeline, despite Iraq appearing to have successfully blocked the unloading of another tanker's cargo of Kurdish crude in Galveston through moves in the Texas courts, The Wall Street Journal reports.