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Today's Climate

November 22, 2010

Coaxing China into a global bargain to fight climate change that also satisfies the U.S. threatens to be even more daunting and elusive than fixing the economic rifts dividing them.
(New York Times)
Ships are lining up to load coal for furnaces in China, which has evolved from a coal exporter to one of the world's leading purchasers.
The European Commission said on Monday a proposal to limit the use of some carbon credits from industrial gas projects in its emissions trading scheme might be unveiled in Cancun.
(Des Moines Register)
Programs that paid farmers for not tilling their land and taking other carbon-conserving measures are shutting down with the death of a climate bill.
(St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
Backers and critics of the proposed Taylorville Energy Center are ratcheting up campaigns to win legislative support as Illinois' first clean-coal project faces judgment day in Springfield.
(Dallas Morning News)
Texas is No. 9 among states when it comes to the amount of sunlight that could be used to make electricity. But the state ranks 16th in the amount of solar actually installed.
(The Telegraph)
The UK government will launch a review of environmental regulation of North Sea oil and gas rigs in January in the wake of BP's catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Google will add Honda's electric Fit car to its so-called "Gfleet," which Dave Dewitt, principal engineer for Honda R&D, described as a "car share program with 2,600 members."

November 21, 2010

(Washington Post)
The new GOP majority in Congress will have few easy options for undoing the White House's Plan B on climate, a set of new regulations that will cut emissions from power plants and factories.
China's five-month crackdown on illegal mining of rare earth will not cut output of the key material, Chinese officials said on Sunday.
Other bids to trap CO2 have failed. But supporters of the technology say a project in Fife could still transform the use of fossil fuel.
Japan is building a new emissions market as the widest carbon-trading spreads in four months signal that the 1997 Kyoto treaty will be scrapped.
China said on Friday it will not agree to any deal tying climate change aid from rich nations to its acceptance of tighter international checks of its emissions, which it said will grow for some time.
Japan is unlikely to legislate cuts in CO2 emissions before U.N.-led climate talks in Mexico this month, but its enactment in the new year could include a tax on users of fossil fuels.
Energy Secretary Steven Chu said last week the U.S. and China had launched a joint clean energy initiative -- one of the largest research collaborations between two countries in the world.
Dominion expects to shut the Salem Harbor coal/oil-fired plant in Mass. within seven years as the high cost of keeping up with stringent pollution rules could make it uneconomic to keep it operating.
(Sydney Morning Herald)
Traces of toxic chemicals have been found at a ''fracking'' operation to extract coal seam gas - the third time this year that gas producers have detected contamination at a drill site.
(The Intelligencer)
With the potential to release uranium and other hazardous materials, the process of Marcellus Shale drilling and "fracking" must be tightly regulated, university professors said Friday during a conference.
The Obama administration is punting until next year its decision on adding more ethanol to the gasoline blend for older cars.
(Wilkes Barre Times-Leader)
Encana Natural Gas, the only company to drill a Marcellus Shale gas well in Luzerne County, announced Thursday that it is ceasing operations in the county and Pennsylvania.
BP is facing new fines in connection with its criminal conviction for a huge oil spill on Alaska's North Slope in 2006.
While the deforestation of tropical rainforests is seen as a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, the impact of cool-weather rainforests tends to be overlooked when addressing climate change, a panel of scientists said.
President Obama took a break from NATO meetings in Portugal and spent time on what's become one of his favorite activities -- promoting electric cars.
(Oregon Live)
For too long climate change and sustainable living have been the domain of secular environmentalism, even though there's a biblical basis for why Christians should care for the Earth, says the professor who created a new course called Christian Earthkeeping.
(Star Phoenix)
Hundreds of polar bears were spotted on the west coast of Hudson Bay earlier this week, waiting for ice that is almost a month late forming.

November 19, 2010

(Business Week)
China, the world's biggest polluter, is studying a cap-and-trade system to help cut greenhouse gas emissions, said an official at a state-run research center.
The EU will not harden its existing, carbon emissions pledge into a binding U.N. decision unless the United States and China do likewise, an unlikely prospect, its chief negotiator said.
President Obama's pointman for climate change on Thursday dismissed the impact of GOP election gains on U,S. positions on the issue, voicing hope of progress at the upcoming summit in Mexico.  
President Obama's climate envoy said on Thursday world powers shouldn't get bogged down on a deadline for greenhouse gas emission cuts at the upcoming global climate summit.
Key Senate Democrats continue to hope they can pass a renewable electricity standard and other smaller energy bills this year despite the dwindling time and interest in the lame-duck session.