E2 Round-up: California climate law in focus, melting ice in Greenland, and oil companies pick up the Ex-Im Bank’s travel tab

It concluded that the measure will yield modest job gains statewide, will have a negligible effect on the state's overall economy -- the eighth largest in the world -- and could benefit some sectors like alternative energy businesses.

The story notes that business groups believe the state body is “making rosy assumptions.” Oil companies are helping to fund a ballot initiative to suspend the state law.

This doesn’t look good: Bloomberg reports that Exxon Mobil and its partners in a big natural gas project in Papa New Guinea “last year paid the travel expenses for employees of the U.S. Export-Import Bank as it considered whether to help fund the venture.” About a year later, the bank announced $3 billion in financing for the project, the biggest transaction in bank history.

The story continues:

Exxon Mobil, the biggest U.S. oil producer, isn’t alone in picking up the travel tab for the Washington-based bank. In the past two years, the bank accepted $366,865 for employee trips, according to information provided under a Freedom of Information Act request. Workers visited projects sponsored by companies including Newmont Mining Corp., ConocoPhillips, Saudi Aramco and Barrick Gold Corp.

The Energy Department has been doling out loan support for various low-carbon energy companies, but it doesn’t like every application.
From the Associated Press:

A startup automaker that planned to build a fuel-efficient vehicle in Louisiana and employ 1,400 workers lost its bid Wednesday for $321.1 million in federal loans considered vital in getting the company running.

V-Vehicle Co. said the federal Energy Department turned aside two loan applications — $241.2 million to revamp the idle Guide Corp. headlight plant in Monroe to manufacture the vehicle and $79.9 million to coordinate engineering with the company's 30 suppliers.

On Feb. 28, the San Diego, Calif.-based company and state economic development officials had expressed optimism that the loans would be approved.

Elsewhere, USA Today looks at a new study about the melting of Greenland’s massive ice sheet. It’s speeding up.