White House officials are leaning toward taking the United States out of the Paris climate agreement, people familiar with the deliberations say. While some in the Trump administration have warmed in recent days to the idea of staying in the non-binding pact while potentially changing the United States’ commitment, top officials are now leaning the other way, sources said Tuesday. Trump could announce as soon as next week his plans to pull out. The Huffington Post and New York Times reported on the developments earlier Tuesday. –Timothy Cama, The Hill, 3 May 2017
Foes of the Paris climate agreement have gained the upper hand in the ongoing White House debate over whether the U.S. should pull out of the historic pact, according to participants in the discussions and those briefed on the deliberations, although President Trump has yet to make a final decision. During that meeting, according to several people who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, White House counsel Don McGahn informed participants that the United States could not remain in the agreement and lower the level of carbon cuts it would make by 2025. –Juliet Eilperin, The Washington Post, 3 April 2017
If the U.S. withdraws from the Paris climate accord — an option gaining favor among top White House advisers — Charming Betsy may be partly to blame. Or, more specifically, the Charming Betsy doctrine. That’s a legal principle stemming from a 213-year-old case involving a schooner of the same name. It says that federal policies should be interpreted, when possible, so they don’t conflict with international laws. The White House counsel’s office warned Trump administration officials in a meeting Thursday and in a separate memo that if the U.S. stays in the global accord, it could arm environmentalists with legal ammunition for lawsuits challenging the president’s domestic regulatory rollbacks. –Jennifer A Dlouhy, Bloomberg, 3 May 2017
Anyone with doubts about China’s demand for energy including for thermal coal needed to sustain its gigantic economy should cast their eyes over the latest statistics for power generation from Beijing’s National Statistics Bureau. These data are a treasure trove in terms of revealing trends in China’s energy production and appetite for thermal coal sourced from both inside China and from imports shipped from countries including, Australia, Indonesia and Russia. One interesting revelation is that China’s production of electricity from coal stayed at elevated levels post the northern hemisphere winter after reaching a high of 423.6 billion kWh in December ‚Äì and the highest level recorded based on available data going back to January 2010. –Michael Cooper, Platts, 2 May 2017
India’s ageing power stations will miss a government deadline to slash their emissions, the country’s power minister has admitted, as he reiterated the country’s longstanding position that the responsibility for tackling global pollution rests squarely with the west. Stricter standards from the country’s environment ministry, introduced two years ago, gave the country’s mostly state-owned thermal power plants until December this year to cut carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions and reduce their water use. But Piyush Goyal, the power minister, told the Financial Times that the country’s coal power stations, three-quarters of which are owned by the government, “will take some more time” to upgrade their technology and cut emissions. —Financial Times, 3 May 2017
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