User: flenvcenter Topic: Energy-National
Category: Policy
Last updated: May 25 2015 10:33 IST RSS 2.0
 
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China Environmental News Alert - May 25, 2015 25.5.2015 Switchboard, from NRDC
NRDC China Team, Beijing, China: May 9 - May 25, 2015Court hearing China's landmark NGO environmental lawsuit | ChinaDaily A Chinese court has begun hearing a lawsuit filed by green organizations against a quarry for environmental damage in a landmark case empowered by China's strengthened...
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China readies national carbon market to fight climate change 24.5.2015 AP Business
BEIJING (AP) -- At first, the numbers and company names flashing on a big board in Beijing's financial district suggest a booming market....
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The TPP Is a Test of Democracy 24.5.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Democracy is the problem with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade negotiation. It's the problem for TPP supporters because the trade deal has been secret so far - known to the public only through leaks and rumors - and because the Fast Track authorization that the Obama Administration wants would box Congress out of meaningful input on the treaty. As Yale Law School international trade scholar David Grewal has pointed out , the TPP is about national regulation of domestic economies, issues like environmental, labor, and consumer safety law that are at the core of self-government. It's outlandish that this sovereign power is being bargained away in secret, with the final deal dropped before Congress in a take-it-or-kill-it package. So TPP critics have found that democracy is by far their easiest argument. In fact, given how much of the negotiations remains secret, just about the only informed argument they can make is that the s ecrecy itself is a problem . And it is a terrible problem. It ...
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Rand Paul Amendment Would Increase Executive Branch Power 23.5.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Friday proposed an amendment to legislation to give President Barack Obama fast-track trade authority that would shift budgetary power from Congress to the executive branch. Senators didn't vote on the amendment as they rushed to finish work on Trade Promotion Authority -- the fast-track measure -- before a holiday recess. Paul’s “Bonuses for Cost-Cutters Act” would have empowered federal agencies to identify “any potential surplus funds” and return them to the treasury. Employees who tip off agency inspectors general to the surpluses would be eligible for bonuses. In order to create such a system, Paul’s amendment would give additional power to the executive branch by exempting the surplus funds from existing law that forbids the executive branch from seizing congressionally appropriated funds. The 1974 law was a response to attempts by then-President Richard Nixon to unilaterally cut congressionally appropriated spending. A Republican Senate aide with close knowledge of the ...
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Duluth library's seed-sharing program restocked 23.5.2015 Minnesota Public Radio: Business
Gov. Mark Dayton has signed a law that exempts seed libraries and individuals from rules that require seeds to be tested and labeled before they are sold or given away.
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Clean-Coal Power Plant Loses Steam 23.5.2015 Wall St. Journal: US Business
The future of the most expensive fossil-fuel power plant ever built in the U.S. is facing new pressures after a Mississippi utility backed out of its commitment to help pay for the clean-coal project.
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Taking Big Steps Towards Energy Efficiency for All in Maryland 23.5.2015 Switchboard, from NRDC
Deron Lovaas, State/Federal Policy & Practice Director, Urban Solutions, Washington, D.C.: Mountain View Apartments, Cumberland, MD courtesy of Rudy Matthews photography This weekend, my Memorial Day observance will include toasting a historic two weeks of regulatory activity in favor of low-income utility customers in Maryland, particularly those most underserved of...
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For 7 Years, FBI Defied Law for Seeking a Person’s Records Under Patriot Act 23.5.2015 CommonDreams.org Headlines
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Germany Seeks to Curb Power of Smaller Unions 22.5.2015 Wall St. Journal: Europe
Germany has moved to curb the power of small trade unions in a controversial bid to suppress union rivalries that have led to a sharp uptick in walkouts.
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Poland presidential vote could bring return to turbulence 22.5.2015 Yahoo: Top Stories
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Presidential candidate Andrzej Duda is a new face in Polish politics, but he may herald a return to an older era when his right-wing party held ...
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Why rooftop solar users should pay to maintain the grid 22.5.2015 LA Times: Opinion
To the editor: Evan Gillespie fails to point out some important reasons the California Public Utilities Commission might rework a rate structure that he says protects those who use the least amount of energy. ("PUC may short-circuit California's fair, progressive electricity rate policy," op-ed,...
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Europe Seeks Model to Repel U.S. Web Giants 22.5.2015 Wall St. Journal: Europe
Policy makers worry Europe’s job generators are at the mercy of U.S.-owned digital companies, writes Stephen Fidler.
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California Public Utilities Commission Makes a Bad Call for San Diego, Approves Natural Gas Power Plant in Carlsbad 21.5.2015 NRDC: News/Media Center Feed
LOS ANGELES (May 21, 2015) – The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) erred today by overruling its own staff’s recommendation and approving a giant pollution-emitting power plant in San Diego. By a vote of 4-1, the commission adopted a proposal by CPUC President Michael Picker, opening the way for construction of a large, polluting natural gas power plant in the city of Carlsbad despite the potential availability of cleaner and less costly alternatives. The administrative law judge who heard the case had recommended that the Commission wait for the results of a competitive auction that would have allowed energy efficiency and renewable energy the opportunity to displace the plant at lower ...
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Kinder Morgan Paid Pennsylvania Police Department to ‘Deter Protests’ 21.5.2015 Commondreams.org Views
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Plastic Pollution: A Social Justice Perspective 21.5.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
The Plastic Pollution Movement is very new. The problem developed within our lifetimes with the explosion of single use plastics thanks to mankind's acceptance of a fossil fuel based economy and increasingly disruptive extraction methods for petroleum and natural gas such as fracking, off shore drilling, and tar sands extraction that have produced a glut of petrochemicals we have used for both energy and products that harm our climate, wildlife, oceans, food chain and poison us. I am a child of activists, it's in my blood, and this gives me hope that through education we are producing a whole new generation of environmental and health activists to carry on the mission after us. My parents were civil rights activists. They attended Duke University for graduate school in 1960's and were horrified to come face-to-face with segregation. They organized to desegregate Durham. For a time, I thought Civil Rights was my calling as well, but I've always been an avid nature lover, and when I discovered about ...
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Czech Republic to Reshape its Power Market 21.5.2015 Wall St. Journal: Policy
The Czech Republic is reshaping its power market regulation to give the government a bigger role, but a Brussels challenge may result on concerns the move breaches the European Union’s rules while offering inroads for additional Russian ...
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Instead of better utilities, what Minnesota needs are better environmental groups 21.5.2015 MinnPost
CC/Flickr/waferboard The fact is, Minnesota’s electric utilities have been taking a leadership role on climate change. Last week, the Minnesota chapter of the Sierra Club announced it was initiating an ad campaign against Xcel Energy and Minnesota Power for continuing to include coal-based generation in their long-term plans. The fact both Minnesota-based utilities are already national leaders in renewable generation and have rightfully been held up as models for their diversified generation portfolios appears to have been lost on Sierra Club. Joel Johnson Most Minnesotans would see Xcel’s desire to keeps its options open with its coal plants as sensible, considering the future of the company’s three nuclear power plants is uncertain after 2030. Xcel is simply making sure it has enough baseload generation – something wind and solar generation can’t provide because of their intermittent nature – to meet its customers’ needs in the decades to come. Likewise, Minnesota Power has offered a plan to further ...
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Snag in bill may muck up health insurance approvals 21.5.2015 Minnesota Public Radio: News
There's no money for a team of health insurance rate reviewers in the final jobs and energy bill. That means the state may not be able to fulfill its legal obligation to approve insurance plans before they are sold.
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The Buck Stops Elsewhere: How Corporate Power Trumps Politics 21.5.2015 Truthout - All Articles
We may be delighted or depressed that the UK general election delivered an unexpected Tory majority, but does it really make a difference? Most of the decisions that affect our lives, our environment, our working conditions and the products and services we have access to are devised, controlled and delivered by business. It is instructive that of the top 100 economic entities in the world – countries included – more than 50 are multinational corporations . The money the government relies upon to put its policies into practices come from taxes – taxes that multinational corporations can easily avoid by relocation, while onerous regulation is just as easily sidestepped. The banks are a great example. Only recently, HSBC used the threat of leaving the UK in an attempt to influence UK government policy. Globalisation has brought us to a situation where we have a regulatory vacuum – global regulation is practically non-existent and insufficient to match the growing power and influence of profit-maximising ...
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On the News With Thom Hartmann: Bill de Blasio Unveils His Progressive Agenda to Combat Inequality, and More 21.5.2015 Truthout - All Articles
In today's On the News segment: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio unveils his 13-point "Progressive Agenda to Combat Inequality"; once again, Pope Francis has spoken truth to power; the Justice Department has let another bank off the hook for its crimes; and more. TRANSCRIPT: Thom Hartmann here - on the best of the rest of Economic and Labor News... You need to know this. While many in the Democratic party continue to move towards the Right, some are working to get the party back in touch with our progressive roots. Last week, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke to a crowd from the steps of the US Capitol Building, and unveiled his 13-point "Contract with America." Officially called "The Progressive Agenda to Combat Inequality," the plan was modeled after former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's conservative blueprint with the same name, and it addresses a wide range of progressive economic policies. However, while Mayor de Blasio joined Sen. Elizabeth Warren to lay out their vision for the future, ...
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