U.S. Energy News

Calls for fossil fuel divestment renewed at multiple levels

CARBON EMISSIONS: Carbon emissions from the world’s energy producers in 2014 did not increase for the first time in 40 years, according to the International Energy Agency. (New York Times)

FOSSIL FUEL INVESTMENT:
• The UN organization in charge of global climate negotiations has backed the call for fossil-fuel divestment to signal companies, “especially coal companies, that the age of ‘burn what you like, when you like’ cannot continue,” said a spokesman. (Guardian)
• Shareholders have flooded fossil fuel companies with demands for low-carbon strategies and climate-change risks. (InsideClimate News)
• Divest Harvard plans a week-long campaign of teach-ins, sit-ins and “mass civil disobedience” aimed at forcing Harvard to divest nearly $80 million away from fossil fuels. (Boston Magazine)

EPA: At least four states have introduced model legislation from a Koch-affiliated group to prohibit state funding for EPA efforts to fight climate change. (ThinkProgress)

SOLAR: Critics of an Arizona public utility’s decision to charge higher fees to solar customers accuse the company of “profiting” from the solar power it gets from rooftops. (Arizona Republic)

WIND: Iowa State engineers are exploring adding a smaller, secondary rotor to wind turbines to save the 8 to 40 percent of energy production lost by current designs. (Alternative Energy News)

COAL: The Kentucky Coal Association is asking an appeals court to block TVA plans to shut down two coal-fired units in western Kentucky. (Greenwire)

RAILROADS: It remains to be seen whether the new growth of U.S. railroads, intertwined as it is with growth of energy production, is a force for cutting carbon emissions or adding to them. (The Daily Climate)

OIL PIPELINES: While the Keystone XL project awaits a final decision, the U.S. has quietly added more than 11,600 miles of pipeline to the domestic oil network. (Associated Press)

TRANSPORTATION: City buses are morphing into giant battery-powered rolling computers equipped with the same technologies as the luxury Tesla sedan. (National Geographic)

PACIFIC NORTHWEST: As the warmest winter in Oregon and Washington state since the Dust Bowl gives way to spring, officials in both states will soon decide whether to declare water emergencies. (ClimateWire)

SEATTLE: A lease allowing Royal Dutch Shell to bring its Arctic Ocean drilling rigs to Seattle’s waterfront triggered revolt from a unanimous city council, the mayor and environmental groups. (New York Times)

COMMENTARY: A water scientist’s warning that California has only about a year’s worth of water left in storage should be a call for drastic action. (Los Angeles Times)

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