Monday, November 30, 2015

Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg & Richard Branson Form Breakthrough Energy Coalition

A group of 28 investors, led by Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates, have unveiled an effort to help companies, including developing countries, widely deploy new clean energy technology.
Gates’s effort, dubbed the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, includes big names like Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg, climate activist Tom Steyer and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson.
Private companies will ultimately develop these energy breakthroughs, but their work will rely on the kind of basic research that only governments can fund.  The group has not commited to any particular funding levels, though it will be the single biggest cooperative research and development partnership in history.  (The Hill, 11/29/2015)

USA & 19 Countries Pledge Increase in Clean Energy Fund

President Obama and 19 world leaders at the United Nations’ climate change conference in Paris committed to double the amount of money they put into clean energy research and development.  The commitment is part of a proposed worldwide pact to fight global warming.
The commitment would put the countries’ funding for low- or zero-carbon technologies like wind power and nuclear energy at about $20 billion in five years, with about half of that amount spent by the United States. Dubbed Mission Innovation, it relies on research and development strategies that have proven successful in the United States.
The increased funding, about 15 percent per year starting in 2017, would rely on Congress for funding.  (The Hill, 11/29/2015)  [Joint Launch Statement]

Saturday, November 07, 2015

President Obama (Warren Buffet) Rejects Keystone Pipeline

President Obama on Friday rejected the application to build the Keystone XL Pipeline, ending the seven-year saga over the controversial plan to transport oil sands from Canada to the Gulf Coast. The State Department decided that the Keystone XL pipeline would not serve the national interest of the United States.  President Obama agreed with that decision.
The president believes the pipeline would not do enough to create jobs, would damage American energy security, would undercut the country’s leadership on preventing climate change and would not make a meaningful, long-term contribution to our economy.

Traditional environmental groups might be celebrating a supposed victory, but we suspect that the WARREN BUFFETT EFFECT had a lot to do with this decision.
All three of the Democratic candidates for president opposed the project. Though former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held off on publicizing her opinion until September, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley have long opposed it. The Republican candidates overwhelmingly favor Keystone.  (The Hill, 11/6/2015)