President Obama Unveils Clean Power Plan At White House

Top stories

1) Obama’s Clean Power plan: consequences, commentary, charts

The US president’s unprecedented action on climate change makes most headlines today, six years after first promising to “roll back the spectre of a warming planet”. The WSJ has a handy explainer on the plan.

A lot of commentators note that shale gas will be hit by the plan, with Bloomberg calling it a “fossil fuel loser” in Obama’s push for renewables (the FT takes a similar line). The biggest loser, however, most agree, is coal – with the second-biggest US coal firm filing for bankruptcy just hours before the EPA published the new rules. A Bloomberg piece looks at the impacts of the US plan on China, with one Hong Kong analyst suggesting that “the news out of the US will toughen the rhetoric against global coal use”. Bloomberg’s “single best chart” video also looks at the China link, while nasdaq.com says China’s getting serious about solar.

A video from Bloomberg outlines the rules’ much more positive impacts on solar tech, and a Quartz hosts a piece by Bill Gates on his £1bn investment into clean energy research.

There is some backlash, with a WSJ opinion saying the “plan to reorganise the economy” was pushed through “Without a vote in Congress or even much public debate” – calling it an “abuse of power”. Fitting then that a Pew Research poll was also released yesterday confirming that US political views influence attitudes towards emissions and climate.

And The Economist takes on the news with charts on emissions and renewables share.

2) UK: oil price drop and Somalia payments, Scottish wind, subsidies

A British oil company has been paying hundreds of thousands to senior Somali civil servants, amounting in some cases to “acts that undermine Somali public institutions through corruption”, according to a UN official. The firm is chaired by former Conservative Party leader Michael Howard.

North Sea oil sees an uptick in production – the first for 15 years – despite renewed lows in the global price of crude, now at $50 a barrel.

And Scottish wind farms have enjoyed a “belter month”, writes James Phillips at Business Green, providing 36% of electricity in July, and a new Imeche poll has found that a majority of Brits are worried about global warming – with flooding and sea-level rise topping the list of fears.

3) Oil price drop, IMF subsidies in G20 at £640 a year for each citizen 

There’s more on the oil price drop from The Telegraph  and the FT, while the Guardian reports fresh fossil fuel subsidy figures from the International Monetary Fund. The US pays out $700bn a year in fossil fuel subsidies, while the UK permits $41bn a year in fossil fuel subsidies, which is $635 per person.