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Supreme Court strikes down power plant regulations
USA Today
A narrowly divided Supreme Court struck down federal clean air regulations June 29 on coal- and oil-fired power plants that have been on the drawing board for a quarter century. The 5-4 ruling blocks the Environmental Protection Agency from jump-starting new rules designed to reduce the amount of dangerous mercury and other toxins that pollute the nation's air, at an unknown net cost to power plants and consumers.
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Study: Renewable energy may double, mostly without subsidies, but fail to restrict emissions growth
Environment and Energy Publishing
In 25 years, more than half of the world's energy-generating capacity will come from zero-emission sources and renewables will generate twice as much power, but atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide will likely still push the world past the ubiquitous 2-degree-Celsius goal, according to analysis released today by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The BNEF report, whose authors assumed "renewables globally will see no further policy support" after 2018, beyond subsides for offshore wind installations, does not consider long-term implications from U.S. EPA's Clean Power Plan.
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Debate intensifies over the nation's gas pipeline needs
Fuel Fix
The numerous pipeline projects already in the works are more than sufficient to handle the increased natural gas demands in the U.S., with a federal push to limit carbon emissions, according to a new report from the Advanced Energy Economy Institute that urges for more clean power solutions. The new report attempts to counter claims by the North American Electric Reliability Corp. and other stakeholders that contend the nation's increasing reliance on cheap natural gas for electricity will require more pipeline and power generation capacity.
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In Santiago, Chile, climate change fuels choking air pollution
Think Progress
Thick clouds of heavy smog hung low in Santiago on June 22, a day of exceptional filth in Chile's pollution-stricken capital city. The haze forced more than 1,300 businesses to close after authorities declared an environmental emergency, the first of its kind since 1999. The city's 7 million people were warned to avoid outdoor activity. Scientists have diagnosed Santiago with some of the "most serious air pollution problems in the world," and the reasons amount to a perfect storm of sorts.
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Dutch court orders government to cut carbon emissions
The Associated Press via USA Today
A Dutch court has ordered the government to cut the country's greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25 percent by 2020 in a groundbreaking climate case that activists hope will set a worldwide precedent. The Hague District Court made the ruling June 24 in a case brought by a sustainability organization on behalf of some 900 citizens, claiming that the the government has a duty of care to protect its citizens against looming dangers — including the effects of climate change on this low-lying country.
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Japan to stop inefficient coal-fired power plants being built
Japan plans to stop power firms building coal-fueled plants that are inefficient and dirty as it manages the competing demands of cutting greenhouse gas emissions while stepping up use of the fuel after the Fukushima disaster, officials said. The government has come under fierce criticism from environmentalists and more subtle pressure from allies over its support for coal, the use of which has surged to record levels after the shutdown of reactors.
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Alberta, Canada, to double carbon tax by 2017, strengthen emissions reduction targets
The Globe and Mail
Alberta will be doubling its carbon levy over the next two years — the first change in the tax's eight-year history — as the province works on broader measures to burnish its image as a responsible oil producer. Premier Rachel Notley says the higher levy and a new carbon policy will help the province when world leaders gather in Paris in November for a climate conference expected to hammer out a new deal to lower global greenhouse gas emissions.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Congress moves to cut EPA funding, block regulations (Utility Dive)
The future of hotter and more efficient coal plants (Next Big Future)
Report says EPA Clean Power Plan cannot save nuclear (FierceEnergy)
US would retire 90-GW of coal-fired power capacity by 2040 (Greentech Lead)
Virginia, coal country for centuries, now embraces carbon regulations (InsideClimate News)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.

Readying for a regulatory landing
Biomass Magazine
Climate change has evoked carbon emission reduction strategies worldwide. In the U.S., seven of the top 10 warmest years on record have occurred since 1998, with carbon pollution deemed its biggest driver. Recognizing that, President Obama’s Climate Action Plan directed the EPA to work closely with states, industry and other stakeholders to establish carbon pollution standards for both new and existing power plants, which currently account for roughly one-third of all domestic greenhouse gas emissions.
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Co-op Refinery VOC emissions 10 times higher than average of other refineries
CBC News
Regina's Co-op Refinery Complex has released far more volatile organic compounds and hydrogen sulphide (H2S or sour gas) into the air than any other refinery in Canada, according to data the company has provided to the federal government. Some VOCs are harmless, while others, according to Environment Canada's website, "are toxic air pollutants that can cause cancer and other serious health problems" at high levels.
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China's pollution goals to get rigorous assessments
China will strengthen supervision of the government's air pollution control efforts and require the timely release of city assessment data, according to the second draft of new regulations. Only 16 of the country's 161 major cities reached the national standards on air quality last year, statistics from the Ministry of Environmental Protection show. The standards require cities to improve assessments of their performance on air pollution and strengthen the role of assessments in achieving short-term pollution abatement goals.
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Date Event More Information
July 28-29 Understanding Today's Clean Air Act Permit Programs Dallas
Aug. 19-21 A&WMA Southern Section 2015 Annual Meeting Callaway Gardens, Georgia
Sept. 9-10 Addressing Climate Change: Emerging Policies, Strategies, and Technological Solutions Oak Brook, IL
Sept. 22-23 Oil & Gas Environmental Conference New Orleans
Oct. 20-22 International Conference on Thermal Treatment Technologies & Hazardous Waste Combustors Houston
Oct. 28-29 51st Annual Florida Section A&WMA Conference, Tallahassee Sponsor Registration
Dec. 1-2 40th Annual A&WMA/EPA Information Exchange Research Triangle Park, NC


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