Obama boosts support for biofuels industry

By John Parnell

– The day’s top climate change stories as chosen by RTCC
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Friday 04 January

Last updated: 1440

Pakistan: There are signs that there could soon be enhanced climate action in Pakistan as its new Ministry for Climate Change prepares to turn its list of priorities into policies. After complex consultations with powerful provincial governments, projects dealing with adaptation, water, agriculture and disaster risk reduction are now under development. (AlertNet)

Canada: The proposed Northern Gateway pipeline can still be completed Canada’s natural resources minister Joe Oliver has said. The project will transport crude oil from the Alberta oil sands to the country’s west coast for transport to Asian markets but faces fierce domestic opposition from indigenous people, environmentalists and the provincial government of British Columbia. The Keystone XL pipeline, to move unrefined tar sands oil to the US has also been delayed. (Reuters)

Arctic: Shell’s grounded oil rig off the coast of Alaska has been damaged by waves and flooding but is yet to spill any of its fuel, according to emergency response teams. The Kulluk drilling rig was part of the company’s early efforts this summer to develop production in the Arctic. The project suffered a series of calamities and delays by harsh weather and unexpected sea ice levels. (New York Times)

Science: The El Nino weather pattern’s link to climate change is unclear, according to a new study in the US. A link between El Nino’s strengthening and climate change was found to be statistically significant but historical records that predate global warming show the same variations. The cycle creates a warm mass of water in the Pacific causing heavy rainfall and triggering drought in other parts of the globe. The La Nina cold phase does the opposite. (AFP)

US: As the post mortem of the fiscal cliff deal continues, it has emerged that US biofuels received an extra boost. As well as regaining tax breaks that lapsed this time last year, the biofuel industry can also retrospectively claim $1 a gallon for its 2012 production while the subsidy support was paused. (New York Times)



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