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Canada to impose national carbon tax; US nukes avoid 531 million tons of CO2 per year

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Canada to impose national carbon tax; US nukes avoid 531 million tons of CO2 per year

Canada's federal government plans to impose anationwide minimum carbon levy aimed at reaching the country's emissionstargets and bringing unwilling provinces in line with national standards.In the absence of applicable provincial or territorial taxes, Canada willimpose a carbon tax on greenhouse gas emissions of C$10 per metric ton startingin 2018, to increase by C$10 per tonne per year until it reaches C$50 per tonnein 2022, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a speech to Parliament Oct. 3.

Supportersand detractors of the Clean Power Plan think the U.S. Court of Appeals for theDistrict of Columbia Circuit appeared to agree with them as it delved intostate and industry groups' legal challenge of the U.S. EPA's carbon-cuttingrule, making the Clean Power Plan's fate difficult to predict. The court held of oral Sept. 27 to considerdemands by half of the U.S. states and several coal and power industry groupsto vacate the EPA rule.

Allowing America's nuclear power plants to shut downwould be a "tremendous setback" for the Clean Power Plan's mandate tocut carbon dioxide emissions in the electricity sector, according to a newreport funded by Nuclear Matters. The Horinko Group, an environmentalconsulting firm, released findings on Sept. 23 that existing U.S. nuclear plantsavoid 531 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions a year and $85 billion in"social cost" by 2020.

Congressional supporters of carbon capture and storagesaid at a Capitol Hill event Sept. 29 that the U.S. needs to do more to developtechnology to address worldwide carbon emissions, suggesting that othercountries could not be relied on to "step up to the plate."

Theprice of five clean energy technologies have dropped up to 94% in the lasteight years, largely due to research and investment, according to a new reportfrom the U.S. Department of Energy. The decline in price, which come from"decades" of federal and private sector investments, have alsoincreased the deployment of those technologies and enabled their widespreadadoption, the DOE said in "Revolution … Now: The Future Arrives for FiveClean Energy Technologies — 2016 Update."

Jobsare the missing component in selling the idea of carbon capture and storagetechnology development in the U.S., according to union executives. "Wehave large swaths of community that are suffering and we have huge opportunityfor investment," said Roxanne Brown, assistant legislative director fromthe United Steelworkers, at a U.S. Department of Energy and Coal UtilizationResearch Council event called "Showcasing Advancements in CCUSTechnology" in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 29.

Carbondioxide emissions from the transportation sector are on track to surpass thosefrom electricity generation in 2016, according to new research from theUniversity of Michigan Energy Institute. For seven of the past eight months,the average rate at which CO2 is emitted from vehicle tailpipes and othermobile sources has outpaced CO2 emissions from electric power plants, researchprofessor John DeCicco said in a Sept. 15 technical brief.

New York's ambitious strategy to boost renewableenergy could have little to no impact on emissions while costing ratepayersnearly $3.4 billion in its first five years, a new study claims. The Empire Center for PublicPolicy, an Albany-based think tank that promotes free-market principles,released its "Green Overload" analysis of Gov. Andrew Cuomo'srecently approved renewable mandate and subsidy of nuclear power plants,collectively known as the clean energy standard.

Officials from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiativeparticipating states, including Maine, are actively working toward integratingproposed changes to the cap-and-trade program with potentially changing powermarket dynamics in the region. Separately, a showed that the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative's participating statesinvested a total of $1.37 billion mostly in energy efficiency and renewablesfrom 2008 through the end of 2014.

A soon-to-be-enacted Washington law that places theonus on natural gas distributors to cut the greenhouse-gas output of theircustomers, or find alternatives to offset those emissions, is driving alawsuit by four utilitiesin the state that claim the rule is at odds with their mandate to deliver gasto users on demand. Washington's Clean Air Rule, which goes intoeffect Oct. 17, requires companies with more than 100,000 metric tons ofgreenhouse gas output per year to pare emissions by 1.7% annually starting nextyear or institute mitigation measures equal to that amount.

Energy efficiency combined with interstate trading ofallowances could reduce Michigan's overall compliance costs in to meet CleanPower Plan emissions reduction requirements, updated modeling shows."Michigan's ability to reduce energy waste is absolutely key to our energyfuture," Michigan Agency for Energy Executive Director Valerie Brader saidon a press call Sept. 26.