commentary

Commentary: Mexico's Offshore Auctions Boosted by Transparency

Alfredo Alvarez, the Mexico oil and gas leader for Ernst & Young Mancera, and Deborah Byers, the U.S. oil and gas leader for Ernst & Young LLP, write in Fuel Fix : "In less than three months, the Mexican Government has changed the narrative of their oil and gas auctions. While round one, phase one, in July was widely called a “failure” in US media due to the amount of awarded blocks, phase two on Sept. 30 proved oil and gas companies will bid as long as Mexico offers attractive fields and remains open to industry feedback on the auction process."  

"Phase two also marked the second fully transparent auction – a huge win that gives additional credibility to Mexico’s energy reform."  

Analysis: U.N. Draft of Negotiating Text for Paris Climate Talks

Tim Profit of the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University writes in the Huffington Post that last week "the United Nations unveiled a first draft of the negotiating text for climate talks later this year in Paris. That text has been reduced from more than 80 pages to 20 and will be further revised in Bonn, Germany, Oct. 19-23, to advance a final global climate deal in Paris."  

"The many proposals in parentheses -- referencing items still to be negotiated -- include details and a deadline for a long-term goal for reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions: to keep the increase in worldwide temperatures since pre-industrial times below 2 degrees Celsius. On the basis of the 146 climate pledges made thus far that goal is unobtainable, according to Climate Action Tracker, an independent scientific analysis produced by four research organizations. It indicates that, if implemented, those pledges would result in aggregated global warming of 2.7 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels."  

Vatican Releases Climate Declaration As Pope Prepares Encyclical on Environment

"A daylong Vatican meeting on climate, energy, ecology and equity has produced a declaration that offers a promising vision for religious and secular leaders eager to foster a sustainable human journey," according to Andrew Revkin .  

"The event, attended by dozens of religious leaders, scientists, social and environmental campaigners and others, is part of Pope Francis’s campaign ahead of the release of his encyclical on the environment and equity."  

The Symbolism of Obama's Earth Day Visit to the Everglades

Slate explains why the Florida Everglades were "the right setting" for President Obama's Earth Day comments on climate change.  

"Obama couldn’t have picked a better place to showcase how frustratingly complicated it’s been for America to take effective steps toward preparing for climate change."  

New EPA Carbon Rules Will Create Quarter-Million Jobs

InsideClimate News looks at a new report from Industrial Economics finding that the "Environmental Protection Agency's proposal to crack down on carbon pollution from power plants would create more than a quarter of a million additional jobs."  

Rubio Stays Ambiguous on Climate Change Solutions

Stephen Stromberg argues that presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) has been "strategically evasive" about addressing climate change.  

Should Texas End Wind Energy Subsidies?

The Dallas Morning News : "Texas is a wind energy juggernaut. So why would any lawmaker be so shortsighted as to kill a forward-looking state energy policy that has made Texas the nation’s wind energy epicenter? Yet, state Sen. Troy Fraser R-Horseshoe Bay, the lawmaker behind SB 931, is doing just that."  

California's Drought is the Result of Climate Change

As California experiences yet another year of drought, is it right to point the finger at climate change? Jeff Nesbit provides an unequivocal "yes" to that question.  

"Climate change intensified the California drought by fueling record-breaking temperatures that evaporated critically important snowpack, converted snow to rain, and dried out soils... In addition to fueling hot extremes, there is now considerable evidence that climate change was at least partly responsible for the dramatic fall-off in precipitation during the drought."  

Melting Ice Makes Arctic Sailing Race Possible

"A sailing race across the icebound Northwest Passage is being planned for 2017," reports Quartz , "through a route the organizers say has been made possible by climate change."  

"The route used to be unnavigable because of pack ice, which may well still be problematic for the race participants. But in the years since 1998 there has been less ice, with more below-average than above-average years, and more open water."  

Renewables Begin to Hit Their Stride

The Economist : "Global investment in renewable energy, chiefly wind and solar power, rose by a sixth in 2014, to $270 billion. This was partly because of subsidies in the rich world, such as America’s 30% federal tax credit for solar projects. Under a system known as 'net metering', consumers with small solar installations can sell surplus power to the grid at the same price as they pay for power flowing in. But even if the tax credit is cut, as expected, solar electricity could displace 9.7% of American retail electricity sales by 2019."