State leaders received the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, released June 2, with mixed reactions. Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback considers the new regulations on existing coal-fired power plants to be “more of the Obama administration’s war against middle America.” Kansas, like many...

Environmental purists have long questioned the legitimacy of electric-powered vehicles as an alternative to the internal combustion engine because their batteries are often charged with a coal-powered source. Even though a battery-powered engine is more than three times as efficient as an internal combustion engine, the fact that coal is often one of the main sources of power charging the batteries of electric-powered vehicles remains a major point of contention for critics...

According to several news accounts, the EPA is expected to release an updated rule - perhaps by next Friday - that would tighten greenhouse gas emissions from new fossil fuel power plants. Although few details are available, many utility and clean air observers expect the rule to phase in the required use of carbon capture and...

Today, President Obama announced broad and expansive plans to use executive authority to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the nation's electric utilities.  The proposal would be the first ever for existing power plants, directing the EPA to issue new rules by June 2014 to reduce US greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020.

At a forum organized by the magazine New Republic the Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change, Heather Zichal, said “We are poised to take meaningful action" to address climate change and that it was a "legacy" issue for the Administration's second term. The comments triggered considerable speculation in energy/environment industry and trade circles that the Administration would make good on a pledge made in the President's State of the Union address to take executive action on climate change policies - including a controversial proposal to potentially expand carbon dioxide restrictions beyond just new plants but for existing power plants as well.

Stateline Midwest ~ June 2013

The Midwest’s carbon footprint got smaller over the past decade, a period of time in which the region’s mix of sources for electric power also changed significantly.

Modeling its program after the World Bank, this week Massachusetts became the first state in the country to issue "green" municipal bonds.The tax-exempt bonds will be part of a $1.1 billion general-obligation issue that also includes $640.3 million for refunding debt.

The EPA recently announced that US greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) dropped 1.6% from 2010 to 2011, which continues a downward trend that observers believe is due in large part to increasing vehicle fuel economy standards and the large fuel-switching underway by electric utilities from burning coal to natural gas.

A new study related to climate change moves the debate from the science of it all to its impact on the economy.  The report— “Insurer Climate Risk Disclosure Survey,” by Ceres, a nonprofit group advocating for sustainability leadership—takes a look at how not including the risks associated with climate change may affect the business of insurance companies. “The insurance sector is a key driver to our overall economy,” said Mindy Lubber, president of Ceres.

The National Homeland Security Consortium (NHSC) is calling on leaders at all levels of government and the private sector to come together to address the increasingly complex and interdependent issues facing the nation. “With the 2012 elections behind us, now is the time for apolitical, non-partisan collaboration to advance national safety and security goals,” said John Madden, director, Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. Madden is one of the tri-chairs for the NHSC, a voluntary group of 22 national associations formed in 2002 in an effort to collaboratively address homeland security issues.
 

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