OVERNIGHT ENERGY: As Obama preps climate plan, DOE official talks energy emissions

The Friday event centers on the IEA report, which makes specific recommendations that the energy sector can “quickly and effectively” implement “at no net economic cost.”

The report, titled “Redrawing the Energy-Climate Map,” warns that without action by the energy sector, international efforts to keep global temperature increases below 2 degrees Celsius by 2020 could be in jeopardy.

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The IEA “argues that the international community must limit the average global temperature increase to no more than 2 degrees Celsius to avoid potentially catastrophic climate change. But the world is far away from reaching this target and some say there are worrying signs that this issue has slipped down the policy agenda,” an advisory states.

Other speakers at the 9 a.m. event include Fatih Birol, chief economist with IEA, and Polly Trottenberg, undersecretary for policy at the Department of Transportation.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Check out these stories that ran on E2-Wire Thursday ...

— EPA abandons study that linked fracking to Wyoming water pollution
— May tied for third-warmest on record globally, agency says
— House shifts to energy development, agriculture appropriations next week
Sen. Coons leaves Energy panel for Appropriations, opens space for Markey
— GOP lawmakers protest efforts to expand wildlife refuges
— Sen. Feinstein plans power plant carbon bill
— Ex-Obama campaign workers urge him to kill Keystone pipeline
— Boehner: Obama climate proposal 'absolutely crazy'
— Upton: Government should get out of energy boom’s way
— Health groups tell Michelle Obama: Conserve land to prevent obesity
— Murkowski, Wyden weigh path forward for US-Mexico drilling agreement


NEWS BITES:

Sen. Sanders floats energy efficiency bill

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) introduced legislation Thursday that would offer low-cost loans to homeowners to make energy efficiency upgrades.

The measure has a key co-sponsor — Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).

“This bill encourages public-private partnerships and takes the risk out of the up-front costs, giving homeowners the assurance they need to make energy-saving investments in their homes,” Wyden said in a statement.

Under the bill, the Energy Department would give loans to states and tribes so they can set up local programs. Those entities would need to show their programs will reduce energy use and attract non-federal funding, among other conditions, to be eligible for the loans.

“It’s good for the pocketbook and it’s good for fighting global warming,” Sanders said in a statement.

Senators release bill on outdoor tourism, climate change

A pair of Democratic senators unveiled legislation Thursday that aims to protect outdoor recreation areas from extreme weather events associated with climate change.

The measure from Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) would provide grants for local communities and create a climate science clearinghouse to improve preparation for such incidents.

The bill, called the Safeguarding America’s Future and the Environment Act (S. 1202), comes after a recent Government Accountability Office report said climate change could negatively affect jobs and revenues associated with outdoor tourism.

“Outdoor heritage is part of who we are in Montana, and taking smart steps to protect our outdoor way of life from increased wildfires, prolonged drought and reduced snowpack is just plain commonsense,” Baucus said in a statement.

Senators file bipartisan bill to end biofuel mandate

The political battle over a federal biofuel-blending mandate heated up Thursday as a bipartisan group of senators floated a bill to scrap the policy.

Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) are leading the effort, which calls for ending the Renewable Fuel Standard.

“The Renewable Fuel Standard is fundamentally broken and beyond repair,” Barrasso said in a statement.

The rule requires refiners to blend biofuel into conventional fuel.

Its opponents argue the mandate’s targets are accelerating too fast given current supplies, while its supporters say the rule already provides plenty of flexibility.

The biofuel industry quickly criticized the bill. It said the legislation was a concession to the oil industry, which competes with biofuel in the transportation fuel market.

“It’s unacceptable that Senator Barrasso would introduce legislation that protects the oil industry’s monopoly over our nation’s fuel supply,” Fuels America, a coalition of biofuel groups, said in a statement.

Full repeal of the rule seems unlikely. Several measures in both the House and the Senate, however, call for more specific changes.


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