Wall Street Journal: Germany Moves to Speed Renewable Energy Goal

Germany sought to steer its ambitious shift to renewable energy back on track after its plans to phase out nuclear power triggered an increase in carbon-gas emissions over the past two years.

The government adopted a broad catalog of measures on Wednesday, ranging from new subsidies for homeowners who insulate their houses to mandatory emissions cuts for energy producers.

Berlin said the steps would ensure Germany meets its target of cutting carbon-dioxide emissions by 40% from their 1990 level by 2020 -- a goal twice as ambitious as the European average and one that appears increasingly beyond reach.

Bloomberg: Landrieu Warns Louisiana Not to Let 'Windmills and Alternative Energy' Supporter Rise

As she barnstorms across Louisiana in advance of Saturday's runoff, Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu tells voters not to confuse this election with a referendum on President Barack Obama. At an appearance in a mostly black town northwest of Baton Rouge, Landrieu talked about her fight to stop a "Boston hedge fund" from exploiting a community's "cheap natural gas" and forcing residents to resort to propane for fuel. This, she said, was a reason she needed to return to Washington as ranking member of the Senate Energy Committee.

"If I don't get back there as a senior member of the committee," said Landrieu, "we're gonna have a woman who I like very much, [but] I'm not sure Louisiana's going to think very much of a senator from Washington state who's all for windmills and alternative energy, and doesn't support the oil and gas industry! That's who's gonna take my place as head of this committee."

Washington Post: Putin Cancels New Natural Gas Pipeline to Europe in a Surprise Move

In a measure of the dramatically reshaped relations between Russia and the West, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday scrapped plans for a major new natural gas pipeline to Europe, a surprise decision that came as the ruble slumped to an all-time low against the dollar.

The move deprives the Kremlin of a tool that would have increased Russian political influence over southeastern Europe and detoured natural gas around Ukraine, leaving it more vulnerable to Russia. Putin’s decision came after European Union leaders intensified their opposition to the plans because of the grinding conflict in Ukraine.

Reuters: New U.S. Oil and Gas Well November Permits Tumble Nearly 40 percent

Plunging oil prices sparked a drop of almost 40 percent in new well permits issued across the United States in November, in a sudden pause in the growth of the U.S. shale oil and gas boom that started around 2007.

Data provided exclusively to Reuters on Tuesday by industry data firm Drillinginfo Inc. showed 4,520 new well permits were approved last month, down from 7,227 in October.

The pullback was a "very quick response" to U.S. crude prices, which settled on Tuesday at $66.88 CLc1, said Allen Gilmer, chief executive officer of Drillinginfo.

Guardian: Conservative Lobby Group Plans Anti-Environmental Onslaught

The corporate lobbying network American Legislative Exchange Council, commonly known as ALEC, is planning a new onslaught on a number of environmental protections next year when Republicans take control of Congress and a number of state legislatures.

The battle lines of Alec’s newest attack on environmental and climate measures will be formally unveiled on Wednesday, when the group begins three days of meetings in Washington, D.C.

ALEC, described by its opponents as a corporate bill mill, has suffered an exodus of tech companies from its ranks recently because of its extreme positions -- especially its promotion of climate denial.

Xinhua: China's Electric Car Production Up in November

Chinese carmakers produced ten times as many new energy vehicles last month as they did in November 2013, thanks to intense government-led promotion, according to new data.

They made a total of 9,728 green vehicles last month, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said Wednesday in a statement.

Just Auto: Daimler Tops Off Li-Ion Battery Plant Expansion

Daimler is expanding production capacity for lithium-ion batteries and plans to spend another EUR100M on its Deutsche ACCUmotive subsidiary, which supplies lithium-ion batteries for the current Smart Fortwo electric drive and the hybrid Mercedes S-, E- and C-Class. It has delivered more than 50,000 battery packs to date.