Meter Reading: It’s Gettin’ Hot in Here, ‘War on Coal’ Ends in Obama Victory, and More

Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images

A new study finds that because of rapid climate change, the planet will warm even faster than expected.

It’s a good time to buy into sunscreen futures, the ‘War on Coal’ ends in a defeat for the industry, and wind is optimistic once again, all in your morning Meter Reading:

  • Extreme weather is likely to get more extreme, according to a report in the Washington Post. “Warming is likely to be on the high side of the projections,” John Fasullo of the National Center for Atmospheric Research tells the paper. A new study by his group finds that “the world could be in for a devastating increase of about eight degrees Fahrenheit by 2100, resulting in drastically higher seas, disappearing coastlines and more severe droughts, floods and other destructive weather.” Texas is far from immune, as our report Thursday on higher and higher temps finds.
  • Remember the ‘War on Coal?’ It was one of Mitt Romney’s main energy policy attacks on President Barack Obama: overreaching environmental regulations were “killing coal,” Romney alleged. (The truth was far more nuanced, as we reported last month.) A report in Politico post-mortems the line of attack, finding that “millions of dollars in advertising [in coal states] later, Obama still picked up Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia — states Romney needed desperately, leaving him with only West Virginia.” And that went for several down-ballot races as well. 
  • Frackers Spent Millions Attacking Democrats, But Will Likely Be Just as Happy With Obama: That’s because a drilling boom combined with more regulations on aging coal power plants will ultimately boost the market for natural gas, Bloomberg reports. “His policies promise to boost demand for natural gas in vehicles and power plants and facilitate domestic oil and gas output to levels not seen in more than two decades,” they write. There’s a possibility of legislation to incentivize natural gas vehicles and open up gas exports in the next few years. That demand will be good for Texas’ refining industry, as we reported this summer.
  • Is It Drafty in Here? A second Obama term also means more support for an extension of a tax credit for wind energy, which is good news for Texas’ massive wind market. The Dallas Morning News says that Congress will have to act before the year’s out, but Obama’s re-election and victories by several wind-friendly legislators on both sides of the aisle, it’s looking much more likely than just a week ago. Caveat: “However, like everything else with a price tag, the credits will have to survive a trip toward that looming fiscal cliff,” they write.

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