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April 19 News: When Will The Carbon Bubble Pop, Costing Fossil Fuel Investors $6 Trillion?

Our thoughts and prayers remain with the public safety officers and citizens of Boston.

A new study said fossil fuel investors could face a $6 trillion “bubble” as nations begin to regulate carbon pollution. [Bloomberg]

Investors in carbon-intensive business could see $6 trillion wasted as policies limiting global warming stop them from exploiting their coal, oil and gas reserves, according to a report.

The top 200 oil, gas and mining companies spent $674 billion last year finding and developing fossil fuel resources, according to research by the Carbon Tracker Initiative and a climate-change research unit at the London School of Economics. If this rate continues for the next decade some $6 trillion risks being wasted on “unburnable” or stranded assets, according to the report, released today.

Banks, funds and institutional investors are seeking clarity from government and central banks about how greenhouse — gas emissions may affect the value of their investments. The Bank of England said last year it will evaluate whether the U.K.’s exposure to investments in polluting industries poses a risk to financial stability after a group of more than 20 investors called for a such a probe.

“If the markets carry on regardless, with the regulators looking the other away, they’re just asleep on their watch,” James Leaton, research director at Carbon Tracker, a project by non-profit Investor Watch, said in an interview in London. “The longer it goes on, the bigger the bubble will get.”

Chevron is lobbying to undercut California’s groundbreaking fuel efficiency rule that it helped to write in 2007. [Bloomberg]

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At the only federal public hearing on the Keystone pipeline before President Obama decides whether to allow it, almost a thousand people showed up to argue for and against the project. [Washington Post]

The Global Adaptation Index, a tool showing which countries are best prepared to deal with extreme weather caused by climate change, will now be housed at the University of Notre Dame. [South Bend Tribune]

Western Spain plans to build the third-largest solar power plant in the world. [CleanTechnica]

Senator Tim Scott was the only member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to vote against approving Energy Secretary nominee Ernest Moniz. [New York Times]

Expect the Energy Department to make decisions on natural gas export applications “soon.” [The Hill]

How solar power can be used to make natural gas power plants more efficient — and if it should be used to do so. [EarthTechling]

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World Bank President Jim Yong Kim: “If we have any hope of keeping climate change below two degrees celsius, the peak year of carbon emission has to be 2016. So the challenge is right in front of us.” [PBS Newshour]

Among other things, Bitcoins may have an environmental impact. [CleanTechnica]