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Canada ratifies Paris climate change deal in boost for Trudeau

Canada's Parliament ratified the Paris agreement to curb climate-warming emissions, bolstering Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's bid to tackle climate change after a decade of inaction by the previous government.  Legislators voted 207-81 to formally back the deal, which is designed to encourage a move away from fossil fuels. Trudeau's Liberals hold a majority of seats in the House of Commons and the result was never in doubt.

Wind is the new corn for struggling farmers

Wind energy, the fastest-growing source of electricity in the U.S., is transforming low-income rural areas in ways not seen since the federal government gave land to homesteaders 150 years ago.

Ontario cancels plans for more green energy citing strong electricity supply

Ontario's Liberal government took steps to take some pressure off of rising electricity rates, cancelling plans to sign contracts for up to 1,000 megawatts of power from solar, wind and other renewable energy sources. Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault said the move will save up to $3.8 billion of the costs projected in the 2013 long-term energy plan, and will keep about $2.45 a month from being added to hydro bills for homeowners and small businesses.

EPA proposes major updates to RFS regulations

On Oct. 3, the U.S. EPA released its proposed Renewable Enhancement and Growth Support rule, which aims to enhance the renewable fuel standard (RFS) program and related fuel regulations to support the growth of ethanol and other renewable fuels.  The proposal includes an updated regulatory structure to allow biofuels producers to partially process feedstock at one facility and convert the resulting material into fuels at another using existing pathways.

Michigan has more lobbyists than lawmakers working on energy reform

When it comes to deciding how to overhaul the state's energy policy, the Michigan legislature isn't suffering from a lack of input. According to an analysis from the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, at least 145 registered lobbyists have either submitted position statements to committees about proposed energy reforms or are registered as working for key players. That means the lobbyists outnumber the 144 state legislators -- a number which is typically 148 but has been lowered due to two resignations and two deaths. After the Nov.

Wyoming's 1st major coal mine in decades clears council

A state environmental review board voted Wednesday to allow Wyoming's first major coal mine in decades to proceed despite the objections of another coal company. Amid competition from natural gas and tougher environmental regulations, coal mines tend to be cutting back production or even shutting down — not opening anew. Kentucky-based Ramaco's relatively small Brook Mine would buck that trend but has faced opposition from another company and a ranch. The Wyoming Environmental Quality Council voted unanimously to allow Ramaco to go ahead despite the Big Horn Coal Company's objections.

Studies Link Biofuel Demand, Habitat Loss

As the U.S. and other countries have ramped up development of bio-energy as an alternative to fossil fuels, demand is rising for trees for wood pellets, or biomass, and agricultural products for liquefied biofuels.  A recent multi-year study by researchers at North Carolina State University and the U.S. Geological Survey, detailed in two papers printed in August in the journal “Global Change Biology Bioenergy,” indicates that the increased demand could come with a cost: a loss of forested land, especially mature pinelands, and because of that, less habitat for wildlife.

How An Engineer's Desperate Experiment Created Fracking

The fracking boom in America kicked off almost by accident. An engineer worried about losing his job kept experimenting until he hit on a technique that changed the world. Back in 1995, Nick Steinsberger was 31. He was working for an oil company called Mitchell Energy. And he had just gotten a promotion. He was put in charge of an area called the Barnett Shale. It was in central Texas. And the company had a bunch of natural gas wells there. A couple of months in, management called him in for a meeting.

Nuisance arguments heard in Oklahoma wind farm case

The fate of a nuisance case against an Oklahoma wind farm is up to a federal judge after a hearing Tuesday in Oklahoma City. More than 60 members of the Oklahoma Wind Action Associated showed up for the hearing before U.S. District Judge Timothy D. DeGiusti on a motion by Kingfisher Wind LLC to issue a summary judgment in the case. After the two-hour hearing, DeGiusti said he will rule at a later date. If he declines to grant the wind company's motion, the case will proceed to a bench trial.

Maryland introduces fracking regulations, one year ahead of ban's end

The Hogan administration has proposed rules that would prohibit the gas-drilling technique known as fracking within 2,000 feet of a private drinking water well, require steel casings around gas bores to a depth of 100 feet, and require energy companies to replace any water supply that is contaminated by the practice. The Maryland Department of the Environment submitted the measures to a legislative committee that reviews regulations, a year before a state ban on fracking ends. The plan was unveiled five days ahead of the Oct.

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