The news coming out of Doha is not good as studies show carbon emission continue to grow to record heights despite all the diplomatic confabs and all the efforts to reverse the trend. Carbon dioxide is now released into the atmosphere at a rate of two million pounds per second, up 60 percent since 1990. The goal of limiting global warming to only 2 degrees seems ever more elusive and the dire consequences are coming into focus. William Connolley on Stoat asks if it isn’t time for carbon taxes?
Keystone Pipeline protestors in Texas took a new tack by invading the pipeline itself. Police threatened to use tear gas to evict them. In Washington, controversy is swirling around the revelation that UN Ambassador Susan Rice is heavily invested in the pipeline company. Back in Texas, the courts are still hearing challenges to eminent domain and the Obama administration is under increasing pressure to announce what can only be a controversial decision.
The Midwestern battery research hub funded by the Department of Energy this week has official been nicknamed “J-Caesar,” a shortening of the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCSER). Headquarters will be at the Argonne National Laboratory with research centers at several universities and corporate research labs in Michigan. Mary Ann Wright, vice president of global technology and innovation at Johnson Controls, says it will be essential to beat Asia in the development of high-quality storage batteries.
The international gas market heated up as Woodside bought a $2.3 billion stake from Noble in Israeli offshore gas. The Ukraine admitted it blundered when it signed a $1 billion deal on Monday with what it thought was a representative of Gas Natural Fenosa. The Spanish firm says the man was an imposter. Turkey says it will keep buying Iranian gas despite international sanctions and China is setting gas development targets. Perhaps the best news is that Sasol (above), the South African company, says it will build a new facility in Louisiana that will turn America’s surplus of natural gas into diesel fuel.
Finally, wind projects continue to go up despite the uncertainty surrounding the continuation of the production tax credit. GE and MetLife announced they would sink $247 million into a Kansas wind farm. Several projects are proceeding on the Texas Panhandle and Indiana is experiencing an upsurge of development. But Kevin Williamson writing in National Review reports that several small Massachusetts towns have lost their shirt investing in windmills.