Bill Gates and top investors launch $1 billion clean energy fund

PBS NewsHour

Bill Gates speaks during a discussion on innovation hosted by Reuters in Washington, D.C. in April. Bill Gates launched a $1 billion fund for investment in clean energy innovation Monday to combat the effects of climate change. The Breakthrough Energy Ventures fund, which Gates will chair and run with a host of other high-profile investors, is focused on clean energy technology. The fund, Gates said in a conference call Monday, will invest in companies aiming "to solve the climate problem but also providing lower cost energy." Energy Department workers sent detailed questionnaire by Trump transition team How far will Scott Pruitt take EPA regulatory reform?

Russian Meddling on Social Media Targeted U.S. Energy Industry, Report Says WSJD - Technology

Unlike other Russian campaigns to stir political unrest in the U.S., this effort by the tech-savvy Internet Research Agency is characterized as mostly one-sided, agitating against American fossil-fuel production in a way lawmakers believe was aimed at benefiting Russia, the world's largest oil producer.

France set to ban sale of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040

BBC News

France is set to ban the sale of any car that uses petrol or diesel fuel by 2040, in what the ecology minister called a "revolution". Nicolas Hulot announced the planned ban on fossil fuel vehicles as part of a renewed commitment to the Paris climate deal. He said France planned to become carbon neutral by 2050. Hybrid cars make up about 3.5% of the French market, with pure electric vehicles accounting for just 1.2%. It is not yet clear what will happen to existing fossil fuel vehicles still in use in 2040.

From oil refineries to solar plants, unions bend California climate change policies in their favor

Los Angeles Times

No contour of California's vast landscape inspires such passionate devotion as its coastline, so state lawmakers recoiled when President Trump announced in April that he wanted to expand offshore drilling. The outrage was channeled into a proposal for preventing any new infrastructure along the water, pipelines or otherwise, for additional oil production. But the day before a key Sacramento committee hearing this summer, Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) received some bad news about her legislation -- it was opposed by a politically powerful labor group whose members' paychecks depend on the steady flow of oil. In a letter to lawmakers, the top lobbyist for the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California said he feared harming projects that "maintain and create new employment opportunities." The legislation, Senate Bill 188, stalled the following day, an unceremonious defeat for a proposal announced with much fanfare months earlier.

Perry reassures Japan on U.S. commitment to clean energy despite Paris accord exit

The Japan Times

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry reassured Japan on Monday that America is committed to tackling environmental issues and promoting clean energy even though it is leaving the Paris climate accord. Perry told Japanese counterpart Hiroshige Seko in Tokyo that the U.S. commitment to environmental issues remains unchanged, said Kazushige Tanaka, a trade ministry official who attended the talks. Perry's comments came days after President Donald Trump announced the United States would withdraw from the Paris accord, a decision that has triggered international disappointment and criticism. Before visiting Japan, Perry had said in a statement released Thursday that he "fully" supported Trump's decision, and intended to discuss with Japan "the benefits of all forms of energy, including nuclear, fossil, liquefied natural gas and renewables." In Monday's talks, Perry said America will continue to be a leader in developing clean energy and associated technology, as it has led efforts tackling carbon reduction and clean coal technology.