Greens and Unions face off at boisterous Keystone XL hearing

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USA: An eight hour hearing on the Keystone XL pipeline in Nebraska pitted environmentalists, unions and business leaders against each other. The meeting organised by the State Department heard frequently interrupted three minute testimonies from dozens of people at the Heartland Events Centre in Grand Island, Nebraska. (Reuters)

Protesters and those supporting the pipeline queued in the snow for entry to the State Dept. hearing (©BoldNebraska)

Kiribati: The low lying islands of Kiribati held a public meeting on climate change earlier today. President Anote Tong headed a group of ten panelists who addressed a crowd in the public square. Tong told the audience it had to prepare the “next generation to address the effects of climate change”. (Kiribati Government)

USA: New energy secretary Ernest Moniz was approved by a Senate committee in a 21-1 vote yesterday. Moniz, a physics professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a proponent of President Obama’s “all of the above” energy strategy. Environmentalists have raised questions about funding provided by oil companies to his MIT Energy Initiative, including a $50m investment by BP. (New York Times)

Canada: Natural resources Minister Joe Oliver has said Canada would be a more reliable source of oil to the US than Venezuela, as the country looks to press Washington into approving the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. The project would carry Canadian tar sands oil to refineries on the US Gulf Coast. (Reuters)

Finance: Annual investments of $674bn in the search for oil and gas could create a ‘carbon bubble’ of stranded assets if countries remain committed to meeting UN climate targets. Research by the Carbon Tracker Initiative and the Grantham Research Institute suggests the financial sector is either unaware of this target or does not believe it is realistic, given the $674bn invested every year looking for new sources of fossil fuels. (RTCC)

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