A Crack in an Antarctic Ice Shelf Grew 17 Miles in the Last Two Months
The New York Times
Events Calendar (All Times Local)
U.S. EPA employees protest Trump’s pick to run agency
Former and current employees of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency expressed opposition to President Donald Trump’s pick to run the agency on Monday – in an open letter and a small street protest – reflecting divisions over the new administration’s plans to slash regulation. In Chicago, around 30 employees of the EPA’s regional office there joined a protest organized by the Sierra Club environmental group and the American Federation of Government Employees to protest Pruitt’s nomination.
In Age of Trump, Scientists Show Signs of a Political Pulse
Michael Eisen, an evolutionary biologist, is among the elite of American scientists, with a tenured position at the University of California, Berkeley, and generous funding from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute for his research on fruit flies. But late last month, dismayed over the Trump administration’s apparent disdain for evidence on climate change and other issues, Dr. Eisen registered the Twitter handle @SenatorPhD and declared his intention to run in the 2018 election for a seat in the United States Senate from California.
Dollar Jumps, Gold Falls as Demand for Havens Ebbs
The dollar strengthened against its major peers and gold fell as demand for some haven assets ebbed. The weaker euro helped European stocks advance.
Oil and Natural Gas
U.S. Oil and Gas Prices May Tumble On Trump’s ‘Energy Revolution’
President Trump’s vow to “unleash an energy revolution” by reversing regulations may send oil and natural gas prices tumbling in 2018, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Domestic oil and gas prices will likely suffer as the U.S. continues to increase its output, analysts including Francisco Blanch, head of commodities research, wrote in a note dated Feb. 3.
Hedge funds make record bet on rising oil prices
Hedge funds have amassed the biggest ever bet on rising oil prices as investors back Opec’s bid to tighten the crude market and seek protection against fears of inflation. Data from regulators and exchanges showed speculators have built long positions equivalent to almost 1bn barrels of crude across the major contracts, while short positions amount to just 111m barrels.
North Sea oil explorer Ithaca agrees $1.24bn takeover
North Sea oil explorer Ithaca Energy has agreed a $1.24bn takeover by Israel’s Delek Group, in the latest of a flurry of acquisitions in the region as more stable oil prices fuel a revival of confidence. Delek, which has been seeking to increase its presence in the North Sea, already held a 19.7 per cent stake in Ithaca, which is listed in both Toronto and London.
Offshore Drillers Are Still Seeking Recovery Enjoyed by Shale
While oil drillers in U.S. shale basins are starting to see business come back, their offshore brethren will have to wait for prices to surge well above $60 a barrel. U.S. offshore operators like Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc. and Atwood Oceanics Inc. are down more than 15 percent in the last month, as companies focus on onshore oil that reaps better returns. With oil trading near $53 a barrel, firms are looking toward booming plays like the Permian Basin in West Texas and the Scoop and Stack formations in Oklahoma, according to Marc Edwards, Diamond Offshore’s chief executive officer.
Utilities and Infrastructure
Pipeline Companies Struggle to Contend with Reinvigorated Protests
Pipeline companies are bracing for a new round of volatile protests by environmentalists and other activists in the U.S., a sobering reality that is tempering the industry’s excitement over President Donald Trump’s moves to revive the Keystone XL and Dakota Access projects.
Gov. Mary Fallin proposes tax on Oklahoma wind production
Oklahoma would become the second state to impose a tax on wind power, and its tax would be the nation’s highest, under a proposal announced Monday by Gov. Mary Fallin. In her executive budget, Fallin proposed a 0.5 cent per kilowatt hour tax on electricity from wind generation.
Scotland’s last fossil fuel power station threatened with closure
Scotland could be left without a fossil fuel power station after SSE confirmed yesterday that it was reviewing the future of its Peterhead gas plant, putting 120 jobs at risk. The 1.2-gigawatt power station failed last week to secure a subsidy contract to help to keep the lights on next winter, losing out to other sites that could provide the electricity generation capacity Britain needs at a lower cost.
Work on a wind farm at a beauty spot in Swansea is due to start this week following a public inquiry and opposition from local people.
As Demand Ebbs, U.S. Coal Has New Playbook to Dig Itself Out
Boosted by higher prices and presidential promises of aid, U.S. coal is having a comeback season. Yet a looming quandary remains: Demand continues to shrink.
Northeast B.C. mining restarts stall because CN Rail hasn’t maintained tracks for shipping coal
Coal mines are restarting in Tumbler Ridge, but companies can’t ship to market because train lines maintained by CN Rail have fallen into disrepair. Mayor Don McPherson says it appears the railway stopped looking after the track sometime in 2015 after the community’s last coal mine shut down.
Xcel Energy’s Monticello nuclear plant sets 2016 generation record
Xcel Energy’s Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant in Minnesota generated more electricity than ever before in the plant’s 45-year history, the company stated in a recent news release. A series of equipment upgrades, including a 13 percent increase in the plant’s maximum electrical output, and operating at full power for nearly all of 2016 resulted in topping the site’s previous record.
Inspectors Find Safety Flaws Remain a Concern at French Nuclear Supplier
A team of international inspectors described extensive management weaknesses at a key supplier for the global nuclear power industry, finding that safety failings are still a worry months after investigators revealed a decadeslong coverup of manufacturing problems at a French factory owned by the supplier.
A Crack in an Antarctic Ice Shelf Grew 17 Miles in the Last Two Months
A rapidly advancing crack in Antarctica’s fourth-largest ice shelf has scientists concerned that it is getting close to a full break. The rift has accelerated this year in an area already vulnerable to warming temperatures.
Climate Scientists Challenge Conservatives’ NOAA Suit, Fearing More to Come Under Trump
Three scientific advocacy groups have filed a legal brief in support of federal climate scientists who are being sued by the conservative organization Judicial Watch. Judicial Watch has sought to force the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to release 8,000 pages of researchers’ communications regarding a peer-reviewed paper published in the journal Science in June 2015.
Shh, scientists hope Trump overlooks major climate report
Its acronym is just obscure enough to be benign, so little-known that even people in the know stumble over the name of the federal program that guides much of the country’s climate research. That’s exactly what the U.S. Global Change Research Program appears to want right now, as Congress and the Trump administration go on the prowl for places to cut federal money for climate research.
Opinions, Editorials and Perspectives
Snagging Aramco Won’t Be Easy, Singapore
Singapore’s desire to host the IPO of Saudi Arabian Oil Co. is understandable. Whether the city-state is the best venue for what could be the world’s largest ever share sale is another matter.
Spatially resolved air-water emissions tradeoffs improve regulatory impact analyses for electricity generation
Coal-fired power plants (CFPPs) generate air, water, and solids emissions that impose substantial human health, environmental, and climate change (HEC) damages. This work demonstrates the importance of accounting for cross-media emissions tradeoffs, plant and regional emissions factors, and spatially variation in the marginal damages of air emissions when performing regulatory impact analyses for electric power generation.