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Today's Climate: September 23, 2010

By SolveClimate Staff

Sep 23, 2010

(Reuters)

Pres. Obama's dream of passing a big bill to battle global warming is likely dead for the next two years, according to Sen. Jeff Bingaman, a leading Democrat and long-time backer of climate legislation. 

(Washington Post)

Sen. Lisa Murkowski will remain the ranking Republican on the Senate energy committee despite her running as a write-in candidate for reelection against GOP leadership wishes. 

(Los Angeles Times) 

The California Air Resources Board is expected to approve regulations today that could break an impasse in a battle to require utilities to obtain a third of their power from solar and other renewable sources by 2020.

(Bloomberg) 

Installed power capacity from wind turbines around the world will probably rival the potential generation of electricity from nuclear plants within four years, the Global Wind Energy Council said.

(Greenwire)

The Obama administration has decided against pressing for a temporary halt to Marcellus Shale drilling in Pennsylvania and New York, a key federal official said. 

(Canadian Press)

A pair of Canadian aboriginal leaders said decisionmakers in Washington are unaware but receptive to arguments about the environmental impact of oil sands development, after meeting with federal officials.

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Today's Climate: September 22, 2010

By SolveClimate Staff

Sep 22, 2010

(Reuters)

World powers are not aiming for a legally binding pact to fight global warming at a U.N. meeting in Mexico this year and are trying to stop backsliding from a 2009 agreement, the U.S. said on Tuesday.

(Bloomberg)

The U.S. plans a second stab at a greenhouse gas proposal through the Montreal Protocol, arguing that carbon trading isn’t the best way to eliminate HFC-23, which traps 11,700 times as much heat as CO2.

(Reuters)

Emissions from Canada's oil sands, from crude production to end use, are 6% higher than from other oil imported into the United States, a study by energy think tank IHS CERA said on Tuesday.

(Candian Press)

Environmental groups got their way Tuesday when a public hearing into a proposed oil sands mine in northern Alberta was abruptly adjourned.to review treaty rights and environmental issues.

(New York Times)

Republicans intend to meet on Wednesday and vote to strip her of her position as the senior Republican on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

(Politico)

Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) has scrapped plans to move a bipartisan bill this year that would curb harmful power plant emissions through amendments to the Clean Air Act.

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Today's Climate: September 21, 2010

By SolveClimate Staff

Sep 21, 2010

(Washington Post)

Federal officials have conducted 111 "blitz" inspections at dozens of coal and metal mines with similar histories over the past six months, officials announced. More than 2,660 citations for safety violations were issued.

(Los Angeles Times)

Energy companies and businesses are ramping up spending on candidates and issues, while environmental groups face lagging donations and enthusiasm for campaigns key to climate action.

(AP)

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown challenged Republican Meg Whitman on Monday to take a stand on a November ballot initiative that would undermine California's landmark global warming law.

(Greenwire)

U.S. EPA is considering two former Halliburton Co. executives along with one of the most outspoken critics of hydraulic fracturing to provide independent expert advice on its study of the drilling practice.

(Bloomberg)

Success at climate talks in Mexico may depend on companies, such as Siemens AG and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., prodding governments into action, said Christiana Figueres, the UN climate chief.

(Reuters)

China will start evaluating energy efficiency levels for any proposed capital expenditure programs as of November, as the country shuns energy-guzzling projects in favor of greener development.

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Today's Climate: September 20, 2010

By SolveClimate Staff

Sep 20, 2010

(AP)

A permanent cement plug sealed BP's well nearly 2.5 miles below the sea floor, five months after a rig explosion led to the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

(Bloomberg)

Robert Dudley, the American who takes over as CEO from Tony Hayward on Oct. 1, risks being shut out from the region where BP is the biggest producer as he deals with legal battles over blame for the spill.

(Canadian Press)

Some First Nations leaders are heading to Washington Monday to persuade officials to reject the Keystone XL pipeline project they say would pump more "dirty oil" from Alberta's tar sands into the U.S.

(San Francisco Chronicle)

People who were rattled by the Sept. 9 San Bruno disaster and want to find out if there are explosive pipelines under their neighborhoods have a tough task ahead of them. Experts say there are just too many kinds of gas lines from too many companies.

(AFP)

The 17 nations responsible for 80% of carbon emissions will seek to unblock stalled climate negotiations at the two-day Major Economies Forum this week in New York, but analysts expect little progress.

(Politico)

Several lobbyists active in trying to pass environmental laws, including a climate bill, predict more productivity from the committee if Democrats remain in charge but Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) isn't around next year.

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Today's Climate: September 16, 2010

By SolveClimate Staff

Sep 16, 2010

(Washington Post)

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that the first eight months of 2010 tied the same period in 1998 for the warmest combined land and ocean surface temperature on record worldwide.

(Greenwire)

Nearly 80% of states have indicated that they will be ready to issue greenhouse gas permits for large industrial sources by Jan. 2, when EPA's climate rules formally kick in, according to a survey from the National Association of Clean Air Agencies.

(AP)

Hundreds of coal miners rallied on Capitol Hill Wednesday against the Obama administration's attempts to rein in mountaintop removal mining, accusing the EPA of trying to wipe out the coal industry.

(New York Times)

More than a dozen families in Susquehanna County, Pa., filed a lawsuit against the Southwestern Energy Production Company, asserting that the company’s nearby drilling sites contaminated their drinking water and made them sick.

(Calgary Herald)

David Jacobson, U.S. ambassador to Canada, says the industry and government must do "more" to clean up the oil sands.

(CBC News)

The oil sands industry is doing a "disastrous" and "phenomenally poor" job in trying to make the public understand the environmental impact of their projects, the CEO of Opti Canada Inc. said Wednesday.

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Today's Climate: September 15, 2010

By SolveClimate Staff

Sep 15, 2010

(Reuters)

The Obama administration is unlikely to extend its six-month ban on deepwater drilling because of the progress the industry has shown since the massive spill in the Gulf, an Interior Department official said on Tuesday.

(Politico)

Opponents to limits on greenhouse gas emissions see the fights in California and New Jersey as the next step in the fight over global warming policy after the demise of federal cap-and-trade legislation on Capitol Hill.

(Greenwire)

In 18 months, U.S. EPA has -- among other things -- stiffened standards for sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide for the first time in decades, revamped smog regulations and issued the first climate rules under the Clean Air Act. And more rules are on the way.

(ProPublica)

New rules going into effect Wednesday will place Wyoming at the forefront of the national push to disclose chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing.

(Ottawa Citizen)

Alberta taxpayers could be on the hook for more than $14 billion in cleanup costs if oilsands companies don't live up to their commitments to reclaim thousands of hectares of land, warns a new report.

(Bloomberg)

Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Europe's largest oil company, started production at the 100,000 barrel-a-day expansion of its oil sands development in Canada.

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Today's Climate: September 14, 2010

By SolveClimate Staff

Sep 14, 2010

(The Hill)

Senate Republicans may use a markup of EPA’s annual spending bill Thursday to try and block the agency from implementing new climate change rules.

(AP)

A top Utah regulator approved plans Monday for the first commercial U.S. oil sands project. Opponents, who argued that the project would dig up fragile topsoil and pollute groundwater, can still appeal the decision to a state board.

(Los Angeles Times)

California's senators called Monday on federal regulators to order inspections of all interstate natural gas pipelines in the state, with a priority on those that run near residential areas.

(AP)

A coalition of environmental groups asked a state judge Monday to overturn the permit allowing a coal plant to be built in middle Georgia because they said its approval was legally flawed.

(Reuters)

A small oil spill on Monday forced Enbridge to close an oil pipeline in New York, just four days after another leak in Illinois forced it to shut a massive Canadian crude export pipeline.

(AP)

Crews on Monday removed a 12-foot section of pipe at the site of an oil spill outside Chicago that led to a spike in regional gasoline prices, but it could take weeks to clean up the contamination, federal officials said.

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Today's Climate: September 13, 2010

By SolveClimate Staff

Sep 13, 2010

(Wall Street Journal)

California regulators on Sunday ordered PG&E Corp.'s utility to inspect its entire natural gas pipeline system after one of the company's pipelines near San Francisco ruptured and killed at least four people.

(Reuters)

Enbridge said early on Monday that it had completed the drain up of the remaining oil in the isolated crude oil pipeline segment on the Line 6A in Romeoville, Illinois.

(AP)

The oil and gas industry is urging the EPA to keep a narrow focus in its study of how "fracking" may affect drinking water — while green groups want the study to cover everything from road-building to waste disposal.

(Reuters)

Australia's new climate minister Greg Combet said on Monday the government would continue its push to price carbon emissions, but reassured the powerful coal industry that he would also shield its future.

(Guardian)

The world's largest offshore windfarm, which cost over £750m to build, is poised to open off the coast of Kent, with 100 turbines producing enough electricity to supply heat and light for 200,000 homes.

(New York Times)

In Texas, wind accounts for 6 percent of the electricity on the grid. But after a decade of rampant growth, the industry is running into a significant constraint: There are too few transmission lines to carry the power.

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Today's Climate: September 7, 2010

By SolveClimate Staff

Sep 7, 2010

(Bloomberg)

The Australian Greens plan "fast and furious" action to establish a climate change committee and impose a price on carbon emissions under a government led by the Labor Party's Julia Gillard.

(Reuters)

The world's low-carbon energy market is likely to treble by 2020, HSBC analysts forecast on Monday, saying that rising concerns about resource scarcity would support broad consensus on the threat of climate change.

(Business Green)

Over 100 of the world's leading insurance companies joined forces yesterday to urge world leaders to draw on the industry's expertise to shape climate adaptation policies for developing countries.

(AP)

A western Kansas utility's push to build a new coal plant has already embroiled it in a lengthy public dispute about potential air pollution, and now the project could touch off a battle over water.

(Bloomberg)

The German government's plan to extend the phase-out of nuclear power risks hampering investment in offshore wind turbines, a technology that may provide much of the country’s renewable energy by the middle of this century.

(Reuters)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was confident a law extending the lives of nuclear power reactors could be passed without backing from the upper house of parliament, setting up a clash with opposition parties.

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Today's Climate: September 4-5, 2010

By SolveClimate Staff

Sep 5, 2010

(Reuters)

BP's ruptured Gulf oil well is secure with no threat of spewing crude again, the top U.S. official overseeing the spill response said on Saturday.

(Los Angeles Times)

Despite more than half a century of dispersant use in oil spill cleanups, scientists say they still don't know whether dispersants truly enable bacteria to digest spilled oil more quickly or whether dispersed oil is safe for marine life.

(Reuters)

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said on Friday he cannot predict whether Royal Dutch Shell, which has invested $3.5 billion in an offshore Arctic oil program, will be allowed to drill the five wells it plans next year in Alaska's Chukchi and Beaufort Seas.

(Lexington Herald-Leader)

Coal policies, such as controversial "cap and trade" schemes, are a key issue in the contest between Republican Rand Paul and Democrat Jack Conway in the Kentucky U.S. Senate race.

(Bloomberg)

The U.S. failure to pass cap-and-trade legislation won't change its target for 2020 to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by roughly 17 percent, climate negotiator Todd Stern said.

(Reuters)

Connie Hedegaard, Europe's climate chief called on Friday for a major reform of the UN's carbon crediting mechanism, including more money for the poorest countries as well as a number of new pilot projects.

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