Our Top 5: The Weekly Round-up, Environmental & Sustainability — November 2, 2011

1) Venture Capital Investments in Clean Tech Companies Down 44%

Venture capital investments in what the industry calls “clean tech” companies fell to $1.1 billion in the second quarter this year, a 44 percent decline from the second quarter of 2010, according to an analysis by the firm Ernst & Young. The number of deals involving clean-tech firms dropped 12 percent during the same period, according to a new analysis by the center-left think tank Third Way.

Source: The Washington Post, 2011-10-26.

2) Bill to Ban Airlines from E.U. Plan Could Spark Trade War

The U.S. House of Representatives’ backing for a bill to bar American airlines from paying for greenhouse gas discharges under the European Union emissions-trading plan may lead to a trade war, an environment lobby said. The House passed the “European Union Emissions Trading Scheme Prohibition Act of 2011” after the industry estimated that participation in the cap-and-trade system would cost U.S. airlines $3.1 billion between 2012 and 2020.

Source: Bloomberg, 2011-10-25.

3) EPA Pushes Fracking Emissions Standards Forward by a Month

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said it will delay by a month final standards on emissions from hydraulic fracturing, its third postponement of air pollution rules since early September. The EPA and environmental groups that sued the agency have agreed to a 35-day extension for the finalization of the proposed standards to reduce air pollution from oil and gas drilling operations, an agency spokeswoman said.

Source: Reuters, 2011-10-26.

4) Congress Battles Over Reducing Air Pollution from Boilers

Congress is feuding over how quickly the federal government should move in trying to reduce deadly air pollution that comes from industrial boilers and incinerators. The issue has aroused much controversy in Washington state and elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest, where the forest products industry is big business, fueled by the use of its byproducts to power biomass boilers, which run on plant material and animal waste.

Source: Miami Herald, 2011-10-24.

5) Drilling in New Areas Creating Fear of Unknown

The pattern is clear in the oil and gas business: drilling fields are going into new places. The story here is not just about oil, however, but about life in a moment of profound economic and social uncertainty in post-recession America, residents, politicians and industry experts say.

Source: The New York Times, 2011-10-24.

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