2014 August Environment & Climate News
The August issue of Environment & Climate News reports on the success of the Ninth International Conference on Climate Change, held in Las Vegas on July 7–9 and themed “Don’t Just Wonder About Global Warming, Understand It.” More than 600 participants gathered to hear 64 speakers from 12 countries; at one point 4,000 individuals were listening to the conference as it was streamed live.
Also in this issue:
- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed new regulations that would give the agency control over more privately owned land than ever before.
- The Obama administration’s proposed carbon dioxide restrictions will impose their highest costs on states with key U.S. Senate races this November. The restrictions do not apply uniformly throughout the nation and require larger-than-average cuts in states hosting closely contested Senate races.
- The California Wind Energy Association and other renewable energy groups criticized a new law extending special tax breaks to the California solar power industry. Wind power, biomass, and geothermal power groups say the special benefits for solar power tilt the playing field against them.
- Kansas public officials are pushing back against U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service environmental restrictions regarding prairie chickens. In March, FWS listed the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species in five states and imposed stifling land-use restrictions.
- North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) signed into law a bill ending the Tar Heel State’s moratorium on energy production via hydraulic fracturing. On the issue of trade secrets, the bill does not require energy companies to publicly disclose their fracking formulas, but state environmental officials will have access to them for environmental enforcement.
- Ethanol may be increasing air pollution in Brazil, scientists report in a peer-reviewed study. The study may have public policy implications in the United States, where federal law requires the transportation fuel mix to contain approximately 10 percent ethanol.