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US: Supreme Court puts Obama’s Clean Power Plan on hold

The US President Obama’s most ambitious effort to combat climate change – the Clean Power Plan – has been blocked by the US Supreme Court, amid divisions within the justices over an expedited challenge from 29 states and dozens of corporations and industry groups.

This highly unusual move by the justices, who voted 5-4 along ideological lines, means the regulations will not be in effect while a court battle continues over their legality.

“We’re disappointed the rule has been stayed,” says one EPA spokesman quoted in The Economist, “millions of people are demanding we confront the risks posed by climate change.”

Markets: IEA on the oil glut; Goldman sees sub-$20 oil; banks on energy

The International Energy Agency (IEA) can’t see OPEC making a deal to reduce the oil oversupply, believing oil will be stored throughout 2016 as US declines in output will take time.

Goldman’s head of commodities research has said that oil could drop below $20 a barrel as storage capacity runs out.

And here’s what bank executives are saying about the energy markets.

UK: Fracking threatened by low gas price; Cuadrilla appeal refusal; tidal stalls; CCS

The falling gas price is the biggest threat to the UK’s fracking aspirations, experts say in the FT.

Meanwhile both pro and anti-fracking activists converged on Blackpool for an inquiry in which energy firm Cuadrilla appealed against the Lancashire Council decision to refuse fracking at two sites in the county.

The government’s chief scientific adviser has weighed in, urging politicians to embrace fracking as part of a mixed energy policy.

And a new study has found that fracking gas leaks are no worse than those from conventional wells.

Elsewhere in UK energy, oil firms are being urged to avoid ‘dangerous’ investment cuts; the £1bn Swansea tidal lagoon plans are to be reviewed by the government; and a group of MPs has found that scrapping CCS support puts UK climate targets at risk.

Climate change: Tasmania bushfires and Australia science cuts; slower flights; Zika mosquito in California

Ancient forests are burning in Tasmania, leading the Climate Institute to warn that climate change is raising the risk of fires. The news comes as Australia announces that it’s sacking many of its climate scientists – as they know what they need to know and will now move to mitigation.

A new study has found that an increased jet stream from climate change will slow flights from London to New York.

And Zika-carrying mosquitos, spotted in California in 2013 – where it’s never been seen before – is increasing evidence that climate change will increase the spread of the disease.

In other news

Solar: European solar industry reports 15 per cent growth during 2015

Solar again: China Tops World In Total Installed Solar PV, Passes Germany

Even more solar: Alberta’s $3.6 Million Solar Push

Arctic oil: An illustrated history