Today’s Climate: January 1, 2010

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US Agencies May Have to Consider Climate Before They Act (Los Angeles Times)

The White House is poised to order all federal agencies to evaluate any major actions they take, such as building highways or logging national forests, to determine how they would contribute to and be affected by climate change.

EU Carbon Ends 2009 Down 21% (Reuters)

European Union carbon futures slipped in light trading on Thursday to end the year down 21 percent from 2008 closing prices.

Thai Ethanol Use to Double by 2011 (Bangkok Post)

Thailand is planning aggressive campaigns to double ethanol use by 2011 and increase gasohol consumption by drivers. The government will also draw up incentives for automakers to invest in producing E85-compatible vehicles.

Oil Companies Bolster Their Biofuel Spending (Wall Street Journal)

Royal Dutch Shell has roughly doubled its financial support for biofuels start-up Codexis in the past year, the latest sign that oil companies are slowly and selectively increasing their interest in plants-to-fuels research.

EPA Questions New York State’s Gas Drilling Plans (New York Times)

The US Environmental Protection Agency has major concerns about how proposed hydraulic drilling for natural gas would affect public health and the environment, and urged it to undertake a broader study of the potential impact.

Eco-Officers Moving Into Executive Suites (Los Angeles Times)

At many companies, sustainability officers are placed in the upper echelons of companies, where they are highly visible. In some cases, the CEO has taken on the extra duty.

Audit Reveals High CO2 Emissions from UK Public Buildings (Guardian)

The government survey in England and Wales spotlights emissions from some of the UK’s most famous buildings, with embarrassing results. Scotland Yard, Tate Modern and Westminster are among the high-profile buildings with the worst environmental records.

Studies Find Heavy Heating Oil Has Severe Effect on Air Quality (New York Times)

When it comes to finding a major culprit for the tainted air in a wintry New York, one often needs to look no farther than out the window to see a big building spewing black smoke. The source is some of the cheapest but most viscous heating oil pumped into aging boilers.

EPA Plans to Expand Lead Monitoring (ENS)

To ensure that the most vulnerable Americans are better protected from exposure to lead, the U.S. EPA is proposing to revise the monitoring requirements for measuring airborne lead.

Maine Forest Plan Aims for Federal Funds (Bangor Daily News)

A group of forest-land owners, paper mills and state agencies is completing a pitch for federal funding for “landscape-scale” conservation in Maine’s North Woods that would also strengthen the state’s forest products industry.

Coal Industry’s Fuzzy Math (Coal Tattoo)

Do all of West Virginia’s trees take in enough carbon dioxide to make the state carbon neutral? That’s the line that coal industry has been pushing, and that some lawmakers are apparently buying.

Convergys in Global Push for Outsourced Smart Grid Services (Business Green)

Business software and outsourcing specialist Convergys aims to become a major player in the smart grid market through a new service designed to help utility firms cope with the huge amount of energy usage data that the adoption of smart grid technologies will create.

Exelon’s Carbon Advantage (Forbes)

Exelon CEO John Rowe has been preparing the utility for carbon regulations for a decade. Now it’s time to push for the payoff.