From: Morning Consult
To: Scott Jenkins,
Subject: Morning Consult Energy: Obama Climate Speech Offers No Details Past 2020; Bakken Rail Shippers Push Back On Rules
Date: Wed Sep 24 13:03:43 MDT 2014


By Emily Holden (@emilyhholden)



Today’s Washington Brief:

  • President Barack Obama made a big climate pitch at the U.N. summit yesterday but didn't offer many details on what the U.S. would commit, Politico Pro's Andrew Restuccia reports. The Associated Press fact-checked Obama's statistics on what the U.S. has done so far and deemed it spin. National Journal's Clare Foran has a breakdown of the non-binding pledges from each country.

  • The U.S. will give $15 million to a World Bank project to cut methane emissions, The Hill's Timothy Cama reports

  • California is leading on greenhouse gas emissions, aiming to put 1.5 million zero-emission cars on the road in the next decade and passing 11 bills related to climate change. Bloomberg has the story.

  • Energy policy is a pivot point in battleground states in the Senate midterm elections, Real Clear Politics' Carl M. Cannon reports

Today’s Business Brief:

  • Bakken Shale oil companies are resisting rules on treating crude oil to stabilize it before shipping it on railways, Wall Street Journal's Chester Dawson reports

  • California and federal officials released a roadmap for building renewable energy and conserving desert habitat and animals, AP reports

  • Developers are planning an $8 billion renewable energy project to supply Los Angeles with power, including a 2,100-megawatt wind farm in Wyoming, a 525-mile power line and a $1.5 billion storage facility. Bloomberg's Ehren Goosens has the story.



Today's Chart Review: 


Flooding Risk From Climate Change, Country by Country

from New York Times by 




Mark Your Calendars (All Times Eastern): 


Wednesday: ICF International breakfast talk on changes in power industry @ 8 am 

Wednesday: Shale Insight 2014 Conference in Pittsburgh @ 8 am 

Wednesday: United States Energy Association book discussion on renewable energy @ 10 am

Wednesday: International Institute for Strategic Studies talk on energy security/Ukraine @ 10 am

Wednesday: American Council on Renewable Energy outlook webinar @ Noon

Wednesday: Heritage Foundation book discussion on global warming @ 2 pm
Wednesday: Brookings Institution talk on natural resources in Greenland @ 2 pm 

Thursday: Resources for the Future forum with remarks by EPA's McCarthy @ 10 am

Thursday: Bipartisan Policy Center talk on early action and the EPA's carbon emissions proposal @ 10 am


1-16: General
17-18: Oil
19: Natural Gas
20: Utilities and Infrastructure
21-22: Coal
23-25: Renewables




26-27: Morning Consult  
28: Reuters 
29: Los Angeles Times 



30: California Energy Commission  






1) Obama: U.S., China Must Lead on Climate Change Efforts

from Wall Street Journal by William Mauldin and Jeffrey Sparshott


President Barack Obama on Tuesday said the U.S. and China have a special responsibility as the largest carbon-dioxide emitters to lead a new effort to curb emissions, as he sought to enlist nations around the globe to combat climate change.


2) China to Seek Cap on Emissions as Obama Rallies Action


4) U.N. climate summit sets goals to save forests, use clean energy

from Reuters by Alister Doyle 


A United Nations summit on climate change agreed on Tuesday to widen the use of renewable energy and raise billions of dollars in aid for developing countries in an effort to increase the prospects for a wide-ranging deal to slow global warming. The one-day summit, hosted by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, set goals to halt losses of tropical forests by 2030, improve food production and hike the share of electric vehicles in cities to 30 percent of new vehicle sales by 2030.


5) Obama makes a big climate pitch but offers few details

from Politico Pro by Andrew Restuccia 


Perhaps the most interesting thing about President Barack Obama’s climate change speech at the United Nations is what he didn’t say. Obama didn’t promise $1 billion to help poor countries adapt to the dire effects of climate change, like France did. And he didn’t offer any hints about how sharply greenhouse gas emissions would be cut in the years after 2020, like the European Union and several other countries did. Instead, the president delivered a forceful but largely detail-free speech that sought to reassure the world about the United States’ commitment to reaching a global climate change agreement at crucial talks in Paris at the end of 2015, while leaving the specifics for later.


6) Fact Check: Obama's U.N. Speech Spins Statistics

from Associated Press by Dina Cappiello and Seth Borenstein 


President Barack Obama glossed over some inconvenient truths Tuesday in his climate-change speech to the United Nations. For one, as the U.S. cleans up emissions at home, it's sending dirty fuel abroad to pollute the same sky. As well, the U.S. is not cleaning up quite as aggressively as Obama implied in his remarks.


7) GOP on New York’s climate week: yawn

from Politico Pro by Darren Goode 


A record-breaking climate march, UN summit drawing 120 world leaders and myriad of new data releases on the threats to the planet have all drawn a collective yawn from Republicans. No prominent Republicans — with the exception of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg — are taking part either in this week’s protests, United Nations’ discussion or broader activity in New York designed to build momentum toward next year’s official UN climate summit in Paris. Republican leaders on Capitol Hill responded with contempt — if they bothered to respond at all.


8) California Leading on Emissions as Brown Signs New Laws


13) Quebec, California Seeking to Boost Size of Carbon Market

from Bloomberg by Frederic Tomesco and Lynn Doan



17) Companies in Bakken Shale Fight Limits on Oil Trains

from Wall Street Journal by Chester Dawson 


Executives from the top oil companies in the Bakken Shale told state regulators that their crude is safe to transport by train, opposing possible requirements that they make the oil less volatile before shipping it. The industry pushback comes as North Dakota considers new rules on treating crude to stabilize it, spurred by growing public concern about the safety of oil-laden trains crisscrossing the country. Several oil trains have derailed and produced fireballs since 2013.


18) Buckeye Partners opening Port of Albany terminal to Canadian oil sands shipments

from Houston Chronicle by Brian Nearing (Albany Times Union) 


A Houston-based oil company with a terminal at the Port of Albany is poised to open its rebuilt rail terminal in New Jersey — connected to Albany via rail — to shipments of Canadian oil sands. This spring, the head of Buckeye Partners told investors that its rebuilt Perth Amboy terminal would be ready for incoming rail shipments of tar sands oil by the third quarter of this year.


Natural Gas


19) Maine LNG Terminal Flipping for Exports

from Roll Call by Randy Leonard 


Attracting little notice, Downeast LNG submitted a request this summer to build a $2 billion bi-directional LNG terminal at Mill Cove in Robbinston, Maine, on Passamaquoddy Bay.



Utilities and Infrastructure


20) Danger of a cyber-caused power blackout prompts new insurance strategies

from E&E by Peter Behr


Seeing opportunity in an evolving cyberwar battleground, the insurance industry is rolling out new, big-ticket polices to protect grid utilities against damage claims by their customers from catastrophic cyber-caused blackouts. The coverage adds another issue for utility executives and boards: Do they need insurance to shield themselves and their shareholders against the legal fallout from a devastating cyberattack? And if so, how much and at what cost?





21) Walter Energy's bonds lose $363 million on coal woes

from Chicago Tribune by Nabila Ahmed and Laura J. Keller (Bloomberg)


Walter Energy Inc. is bearing the brunt of debt investors' wrath over the slump in coal prices, watching its bonds lose $363 million in value this month as speculation rises it may seek bankruptcy protection next year. The loss is more than other miners and comes as a rival forecasts more in the industry will go bankrupt because there's "nothing on the horizon" to suggest demand and prices will recover. Walter, already the worst perfomer among U.S. high- yield coal companies this year, has seen its $2 billion face value of bonds tumble 17.7 percent in September based on Bank of America Merrill Lynch index data. A combination of slowing demand from China, the biggest buyer of metallurgical coal, and oversupply, pushed the price of the steelmaking ingredient to a six-year low in April. 


22) Australian Coal Companies Cut Jobs

from Wall Street Journal by Rhiannon Hoyle 


Several of Australia's largest coal companies are intensifying job cutbacks, despite signs of an upturn for the commodity. BHP Billiton and Mitsubishi Corp.'s Australian joint venture—the world's biggest exporter of coal to make steel—said on Tuesday it would cut jobs, citing a sustained weakness in prices.





23) U.S., California release roadmap for solar projects

from Houston Chronicle (AP)


State and federal officials sought Tuesday to bring order to California’s boom for renewable-energy plants in the Mojave and other southern California deserts, releasing a roadmap covering 22.5 million acres that designates some areas for large-scale solar, wind and geothermal plants and others for conservation of desert habitat and animals.


24) Developers Plan $8 Billion Green Project for L.A. Power


25) Ivanpah Solar Project Owners Delay Repaying Loans, Documents Say

from Wall Street Journal by Yuliya Chernova 


The world's largest solar thermal electricity project is applying for a federal grant—to pay off its federal loan.

In order to pull that off, the owners of the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System project, NRG Energy Inc., Google Inc. and venture capital-backed BrightSource Energy Inc., have delayed repaying hundreds of millions of dollars of the project's federal loans from several months to a year, according to documents.





26) Energy-Water Nexus

from Morning Consult by Paul Molitor and Joseph Eaves, National Electrical Manufacturers Association 


...The energy-water nexus is fast becoming a major concern for Congress and federal agencies, as reflected in recent studies released by the Department of Energy and the Congressional Research Service. In 2014, legislation introduced by Senators Murkowski and Wyden (S 1971) directed the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy to establish a committee to coordinate and streamline federal energy-water activities. Most people talk about the energy-water nexus at the problem level, stating that there is a correlation between the two and increasing demands for both energy and water will lead to greater shortages of both in the future. With so much interest generated and so many stakeholders impacted, one would think that the solutions to solve this issue would be flowing in. Sadly, this is not the case.


27) U.S. Schools Saving Money, Helping Environment by Going Solar

from Morning Consult by Rhone Resch, Solar Energy Industries Association 


The report card is in, and thousands of U.S. schools are bringing home straight A’s. In a comprehensive, first-of-its-kind new study released today, America’s K-12 schools have shown explosive growth in their use of solar energy over the last decade, soaring from 303 kilowatts (kW) of installed capacity to 457,000 kW, while reducing carbon emissions by 442,799 metric tons annually – the equivalent of saving 50 million gallons of gasoline a year or taking nearly 100,000 cars off U.S. highways.


28) Energy efficiency - bigger than shale

from Reuters by John Kemp


The United States is experiencing the largest and most sustained drop in oil demand since the start of the petroleum era in 1859 thanks to improvements in efficiency and the switch to alternative fuels. Quietly and almost unnoticed by most commentators, efficiency and fuel switching are making an even bigger contribution to the North American energy revolution than hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.


29) Let's make a climate deal, California

from Los Angeles Times by Paula Diperna 


It has been almost 25 years since the United States joined much of the world in Rio de Janeiro and tentatively agreed to do something to reduce the pollutants associated with global warming and other climate disruption. Since then, though, the U.S. has been a laggard in taking major action. Now, with a United Nations climate summit underway in New York and the next U.N. climate conference scheduled for December 2015, the U.S. can make up for lost time — with California's help. All it would take is for the Golden State to allow voluntary opt-ins to its existing carbon cap-and-trade program, creating a de facto national system with the stroke of a pen.





30) Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan 

from California Energy Commission 


...State and federal agencies spent the last 5 years developing the Draft Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP or Plan). The Draft DRECP is the result of extraordinary collaborative planning between a wide range of stakeholders and government agencies, in-depth scientific analysis, and public input. The agencies leading this planning effort include the California Energy Commission (CEC), California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)—together these agencies comprise the Renewable Energy Action Team (REAT). The Draft DRECP would create a framework to streamline renewable energy permitting by planning for the long-term conservation of threatened and sensitive species and other resources on more than 22 million acres in Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego counties.