Valerie's Feed
Jul 7, 2015

After coal, can better health save West Virginia?

WILLIAMSON, WV (Reuters) – With coal trains chugging past in the distance, Jack Perry watches as his wife, Margie, plants row upon row of Hungarian pepper seedlings in the community garden that residents of this West Virginia coal town call the “Garden of Eatin’.”

    ”The peppers they sell at the stores don’t taste anything like this,” says Perry, a retired coal worker. His grandfather brought over the original batch of seeds in the early 1900s when he arrived from Hungary to work in southern West Virginia’s mines.

Jun 29, 2015

Factbox: Questions remain on U.S. mercury rule after high court ruling

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court said on Monday that the Environmental Protection Agency should have weighed the potential financial costs of compliance before imposing limits on emissions of mercury and other toxins from coal-fired power plants.

But the regulations have actually been in effect since April and are still the law while the EPA pursues attempts to redo its cost estimates for the lower court, so some uncertainty remains.

Jun 29, 2015

Questions remain on U.S. mercury rule after high court ruling

WASHINGTON, June 29 (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court said
on Monday that the Environmental Protection Agency should have
weighed the potential financial costs of compliance before
imposing limits on emissions of mercury and other toxins from
coal-fired power plants.

But the regulations have actually been in effect since April
and are still the law while the EPA pursues attempts to redo its
cost estimates for the lower court, so some uncertainty remains.

Jun 23, 2015

China puts $6 trillion price tag on its climate plan

WASHINGTON, June 23 (Reuters) – It will cost China over $6.6
trillion (41 trillion yuan) to meet the greenhouse gas reduction
goals it will lay out later this month in its strategy for
United Nations climate negotiations, the country’s lead
negotiator for the talks said Tuesday.

Xie Zhenhua, special representative for climate change
affairs at China’s National Development and Reform Commission,
said the objectives China will outline by the end of June will
be “quite ambitious”.

Jun 22, 2015

Obama administration sees cost savings, health benefits from climate action

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The health and economic benefits of
global climate change policies outweigh the impacts of taking no
action, the Obama administration said Monday in a new report,
which was released as Congress tries to weaken some of those
policies this week.

The new report by the Environmental Protection Agency makes
the first attempt to quantify the benefits of global action on
climate change by examining 20 key sectors from water to
electricity to infrastructure, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy
told reporters Monday.

Jun 18, 2015

Pope attacks emissions trading as a possible ‘ploy’

By Nina Chestney and Valerie Volcovici

(Reuters) – Pope Francis attacked one of the major policy initiatives in the fight to combat climate change, warning in his encyclical published on Thursday that the trading carbon credits could merely reward speculators instead of controlling global greenhouse gas emissions.

The pope, the first from the developing world, cautioned that carbon trading systems could be a smokescreen to allow large carbon emitters in wealthy countries to keep doing so, suggesting it might be “a ploy which permits maintaining the excessive consumption of some countries and sectors.”

Jun 10, 2015

In twist, Obama emissions plan satisfies industry, worries greens

By Valerie Volcovici

(Reuters) – For two years, President Barack Obama has used his executive power to impose new rules to cut carbon emissions, targeting cars and power plants, buoying environmentalists and infuriating industry.

His latest foray – regulating commercial aviation – had the opposite effect.

Jun 10, 2015

U.S. EPA takes first step to regulate aircraft greenhouse gas emissions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday said greenhouse gases from aircraft endanger human health, taking the first step toward regulating emissions from the domestic aviation industry.

The EPA’s endangerment finding kicks off a process to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from the aviation industry, the latest sector to be regulated under the Clean Air Act after cars, trucks and large stationary sources like power plants.

Jun 9, 2015

U.S. court rejects early challenge to Obama power plant regulations

By Lawrence Hurley and Valerie Volcovici

(Reuters) – A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday rejected an
early challenge by industry groups and states to the Obama
administration’s proposal to curb carbon dioxide emissions from
existing power plants, saying the legal action was premature.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
District of Columbia Circuit said the various lawsuits objecting
to the plan were filed too soon because the regulation has not
yet been finalized.

Jun 8, 2015

Can an Appalachian ‘Silicon Holler’ rise in coal’s shadow?

PIKEVILLE, KY, June 8 (Reuters) – Portraits of local heroes
are stenciled onto the walls of an old Coca-Cola bottling plant
in Pikeville, Kentucky: 10 images that seem to be watching over
apprentices hunched over keyboards in what has become the office
of businessman Charles “Rusty” Justice’s digital startup.

Those pathbreakers include John Goodlett, a NASA engineer
who worked on the Mars Viking landers and Catherine Langley, the
first Kentucky woman to serve in the U.S. Congress. All hailed
from the coal producing counties of eastern Kentucky, now
grappling with the industry’s decline.