Guardian: BP Dropped Green Energy Projects Worth Billions to Focus on Fossil Fuels

BP pumped billions of pounds into low-carbon technology and green energy over a number of decades but gradually retired the program to focus almost exclusively on its fossil fuel business, the Guardian has established.

At one stage, the company, whose annual general meeting is in London on Thursday, was spending in-house around $450M (£300M) a year on research alone -- the equivalent of $830M today.

But almost all of the technology was sold off and much of the research locked away in a private corporate archive.

Bloomberg: Grid Power Will Survive Clean Energy Challenge, Stem CEO Says

Utilities will continue to play a vital role in delivering power amid calls from clean-energy proponents including Al Gore that consumers turn away from grid-based power.

“The grid-defection piece is overblown,” John Carrington, chief executive officer of Stem Inc., said Wednesday at the Bloomberg New Energy Finance conference in New York. “The model will change, but the utilities will always be there.”

Wall Street Journal: Oil Layoffs Hit 100,000 and Counting

Since crude prices began tumbling last year, energy companies have announced plans to lay off more than 100,000 workers around the world. At least 91,000 layoffs have already materialized, with the majority coming in oil-field-services and drilling companies, according to research by Graves & Co., a Houston consulting firm.

Now the cutbacks are slowly showing up in federal employment data. Direct employment in oil and gas extraction, which had grown by more than 50,000 jobs since 2007, has fallen by about 3,000 jobs since it peaked in October at 201,500, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics; 12,000 jobs have disappeared from the larger category of energy support since it reached 337,600 jobs in September.

The Hill: Coal Company Lays Off Hundreds, Blames Obama Policies

A major Appalachian coal mining company is laying off hundreds of workers in West Virginia and blaming the lost jobs on President Obama’s environmental policies.

Murray Energy Corp. will lay off the 214 workers at three mines in Marion and Marshall counties.

Murray said in a late Tuesday statement that the layoffs are “due to the ongoing destruction of the United States coal industry by President Barack Obama, and his supporters, by the increased utilization of natural gas to generate electricity, and by the extremely excessive coal severance tax in the state of West Virginia.”

New York Times: Legal Battle Begins Over Obama Bid to Curb Greenhouse Gases

President Obama’s most far-reaching regulation to slow climate change will have its first day in court on Thursday, the beginning of what is expected to be a multiyear legal battle over the policy that Mr. Obama hopes to leave as his signature environmental achievement.

In two separate but related cases to be jointly argued in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the country’s two largest coal companies, along with 14 coal-producing states, have challenged a proposed Environmental Protection Agency regulation, which the agency issued under the authority of the Clean Air Act, to curb planet-warming carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants.