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Policy & Enforcement Briefing: EU Aviation Law, Carbon Permits, GHG Targets, Gulf Sheen

India’s environment minister called the EU aviation law on carbon emissions a deal-breaker for global climate talks. and joined China in barring its carriers from participation. The European Commission president hinted that the EU could to drop the new rules if it could make progress toward an international solution, the New York Times said. U.S. airlines have said they would comply, according to Reuters.

ArcelorMittal and Tata Steel Ltd. were given 62.4 million more free carbon permits for the EU Emissions Trading Scheme than the two steelmakers used last year, and more than any European companies. The government-awarded allowances are worth 839 million euros ($1.1 billion), assuming a value of 13.45 euros each, Bloomberg said.

Canada will be hard-pressed to meet its 2020 target of cutting GHG emissions to 607 megatons by 2020, Reuters said. Last year emissions rose by 0.25 percent to 692 megatons, and production from Alberta’s tar sands is projected to nearly double to almost 4 million barrels a day by 2021. But government officials said the country is progressing well towards its GHG goals.

The Interior Department with the U.S. Coast Guard is investigating a sheen in the Gulf of Mexico that Royal Dutch Shell has reported near two of its deepwater oil production facilities, The Hill said. Shell said the sheen is now dissipating, but it would continue to monitor the sea floor with robots, Reuters said.

A federal indictment filed in Cheyenne, Wyo., says phone solicitors deceptively raised $3.7 million from investors nationwide, supposedly to develop wind farms in Wyoming and South Dakota. The projects were never built. Utah residents Robert Reed and Lauren Scott and California resident Christopher Ponish have pleaded not guilty to felony fraud charges, KDLT News said.

The EPA said it has entered into an agreement with General Electric Company and SI Group (formerly Schenectady Chemical) to collect and dispose of contaminated ground water and liquid leaching at the Dewey Loeffel Landfill Superfund site in Nassau, New York.

Nebraska lawmakers gave final approval to a bill that will allow the state to conduct a $2 million study to find a route for TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline. The bill requires TransCanada to reimburse the state for the study, and is expected to be signed into law, the Lincoln Journal Star said.

Kazakhstan plans to launch a domestic emissions trading scheme in 2013, and the carbon-intensive country aims to position itself to become a regional leader to link with CO2 markets in the EU and Japan, Point Carbon said.

Poland will amend a proposed renewable energy law that would have reduced support for onshore wind farms and saved the government as much as 1 billion zloty ($313 million). Investors said the proposal would slow development of new wind-project ventures. Poland’s wind power capacity increased 37 percent last year, Business Week said.

France’s highest court may annul a €400 million ($527 million) judgement against Total over a 1999 oil spill off the Brittany coast. The Italian tanker was in waters classed as an Exclusive Economic Zone outside French territory when it sunk, and it was flying a Maltese flag, conditions which limit the applicability of French laws, Reuters said.

Transocean, owner of the Deepwater Horizon, says the U.S. Chemical Safety Board has no jurisdiction to obtain access to blast survivors, internal records and other information about the oil rig’s explosion. Transocean also said the CSB has never investigated offshore incidents before, Reuters reports.

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