Thursday, April 25, 2013

April 24 News: EPA's Keystone Objection Matters 'A Lot'

How much does EPA's objection to the Keystone pipeline matter? "A lot," says Juliet Eilperin. [Washington Post]

EPA suggested the draft assessment may have underestimated the climate impact of the pipeline, which could transport as much as 830,000 barrels of diluted bitumen crude to refineries in Texas.

... In addition, Giles argued that when it comes to the potential of a spill of diluted bitumen from the pipeline, State needs to "more clearly acknowledge that in the event of a spill to water, it is possible that large portions of dilbit will sink and that submerged oil significantly changes spill response and impacts." ...

EPA's objection to the State Department's draft analysis not only provides opponents with political ammunition, it could force President Obama to directly weigh in on the permitting decision if they raise similar objections later when State conducts a national interest determination. As long as no other agency objects, State can issue a ruling on the pipeline on its own; if EPA challenges the national interest determination the State Department makes at the end of its review process, Obama himself would have to issue the final permit decision.

The House GOP accused EPA of trying to shut down Keystone with their objections. [The Hill]

New research suggests that the oil and gas boom has only had a modest impact on the U.S. economy. [Washington Post]

In a unanimous ruling the D.C. Circuit backed EPA authority to regulate mountaintop removal mining. [LA Times]

After last year's barge shipping delays due to drought, the flooding on the Mississippi is now causing delays because of closed locks. [Bloomberg]

New renewable energy will account for 70 percent of global installed power by 2030, says Bloomberg Finance. [Grist]

UN Climate Chief Christiana Figueres urged the U.S. to do more on climate change and invest in clean energy to help the economy. [Reuters]

A House subcommittee holds a hearing today to investigate electric car maker Fisker Automotive's receipt of federal loan guarantees. [The Hill]

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska): "It doesn't make sense to argue about how much global warming is caused by man - whether it's 5% or 50%. The best approach is to have a no-regrets policy." [CNN Money]

Farmers in Pakistan are dealing with the increasing unpredictability of precipitation that comes from climate change. [Al Jazeera]

One thing you can do with contaminated farmland is to install solar panels on it. [NRDC]

Facebook will site a new data center in Iowa because of the state's abundance of wind power. [EarthTechling]


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