A landmark ruling on climate change [Recharge]

A court orders the Dutch government to speed up climate efforts; GOP pushback on EPA’s Clean Power Plan gains traction; Russia moves forward with another plan to bypass Ukraine in shipping gas to Europe. Catch up on global energy with the Monitor's Recharge.

Peter Dejong/AP
Urgenda Foundation director Marjan Minnesma, right, and 11-year-old fellow plaintiff Anica van Staa, left, wait for the judges to enter court to deliver their verdict in The Hague, Netherlands, Wednesday, June 24, 2015. A Dutch court has ordered the government to cut the country's greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25 percent by 2020 in a groundbreaking climate case that activists hope will set a worldwide precedent.

Recharge is a weekly e-mail digest of energy news and analysis written by Monitor reporters David J. Unger and Jared Gilmour.

The Hague: For the first time, a court has ordered a federal government to accelerate its climate change efforts based on the state's duty to prevent harm to its citizens. Instead of reducing emissions 14 to 17 percent compared to 1990 levels by 2020, the Dutch government must now cut emissions 25 percent over the same time period. Of course the ruling won’t make or break the world’s 2 degrees C. target, but it could set a precedent for similar action in other countries.

Opt out: GOP pushback against Obama’s climate agenda is gaining traction. Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana signaled that his state may not comply with the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, joining Govs. Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Mary Fallin of Oklahoma in opposing it. House Republicans also passed a bill letting states opt out of the EPA plan, which aims to cut power plant emissions and is the centerpiece of the US pledge toward December climate talks. It’s not clear the bill has a path through the Senate, though, and Obama has promised a veto regardless.

Turkish Stream: Russia’s latest attempt to bypass Ukraine in gas transit is moving forward. State-owned Gazprom got the green light this week to perform surveys for a major gas pipeline in the Black Sea off Turkey’s coast. Like previous projects,Turkish Stream aims to revive Russia’s waning influence on European energy markets. But with NATO troops assembling in Eastern Europe, and the EU extending sanctions against Russia, it’s hard to imagine Turkish Stream ever reaching European soil.

In the pipeline

Drill deeper

In new energy era, what counts as 'oil'?
[Carnegie Endowment via The Christian Science Monitor]
“Despite John D. Rockefeller’s successful corporate marketing, there is no standard oil,” writes Deborah Gordon, director of the energy and climate program at the Carnegie Endowment. “From its sheer volumes to what it’s made of and its environmental impacts, the next century of oil will likely be very different from the last.”

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The story of the invention that could revolutionize batteries—and maybe American manufacturing as well [Quartz]
For energy storage technologies, the real cost reductions may come on the manufacturing floor, not just the laboratory bench. It's why companies like Tesla Motors are investing in sprawling factories that will maximize economies of scale. 24M, a Cambridge-based startup, is looking to further bridge the innovation-production divide with lithium-ion batteries.

Pirates and hold-ups: crime strikes Venezuela's oil industry [Reuters]
"Workers recruited to be drillers end up as bandits who kill, rob, and hold up their colleagues or steal equipment," says Americo De Grazia, an opposition legislator on the National Assembly's commission on energy and petrol. "They're turning the oil industry into a no man's land where no one can instill order."

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Recharge is a weekly e-mail digest of energy news and analysis written by Monitor reporters David J. Unger and Jared Gilmour.

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