Today’s Climate: September 1, 2009

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US Climate Bill Encounters New Senate Delay (Reuters)

Senate Democrats announced a new delay on climate change legislation, which could make it more difficult for President Obama to win progress on that front before a global environmental summit in December.

EPA Preparing to Declare CO2 a Dangerous Pollutant (Hearst)

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson says a formal CO2 "endangerment finding," which would trigger federal regulations on greenhouse gas emissions, would probably would "happen in the next months."

EPA Drafts 35.5 mpg Fuel Economy Rules for 2016 (Free Press)

The Environmental Protection Agency has drafted its version of fuel economy rules setting a 35.5-m.p.g. standard for vehicles by 2016, following President Obama’s deal reached with automakers this spring.

UN Chief, on Arctic Visit, Calls for Urgent Climate Action (Reuters)

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, visiting research stations in the Arctic Circle, called on world leaders today to take urgent action to combat climate change for the sake of "the future of humanity."

China Tightening Grip on Rare Minerals (New York Times)

China is set to tighten its hammerlock on the market for some of the world’s most obscure but valuable minerals. It currently has 93 percent of production of rare earth elements, used in a variety of green technology.

Climate Camp Targets Royal Bank of Scotland (Guardian)

Climate Camp activists in London launched protests against the bank RBS and a PR firm linked to coal-fired power stations, blocking the doors and unfurling banners saying "Ethical renovation in progress".

Energy Retrofits Not so Stimulated by Stimulus Bill (Earth2Tech)

The $4.3 billion in stimulus tax credits for better insulation, double-paned windows, and other energy-saving measures are having a “small but positive” effect on the home remodeling market, research firm Canaccord Adams concludes in a new report.

Recession Helped EU cut 2008 CO2 Emissions (Reuters)

European Union emissions of global warming gases fell for a fourth straight year in 2008, mostly caused by lower industrial activity due to economic recession, EU data shows.

Valero Takes Anti-Climate Action Pitch to the Pump (Express-News)

Valero Energy Corp. is launching a campaign against proposals to lower carbon emissions by posting signs of Uncle Sam warning customers about high fuel prices if the House-approved bill on carbon cap-and-trade becomes law.

Brazil Maps New Rules for Offshore Oil (Wall Street Journal)

Brazil announced new rules to protect the country’s expected oil windfall. The big question is whether the long-awaited shift really strengthens Brazil and state-owned Petrobras, or whether it backfires by scaring off investment by international oil companies.

Spanish Region Pushes for Intelligent Water Use (EU Observer)

The Spanish region of Valencia is lobbying for the EU to develop a policy to promote the "intelligent" use of water using the renewable energy mode to help alleviate droughts.

In Greenland, a Chilling View of a Warming World (Guardian)

The wall of ice that rises behind Sermilik fjord stretches for 1,500 miles. It has been frozen for 3 million years, but it is melting, far faster than the climate models predicted and far more decisively than any political action to combat our changing climate.

Solar Power from Space: Beyond Science Fiction (Yale Environment 360)

For more than 40 years, scientists have dreamed of collecting the sun’s energy in space and beaming it back to Earth. Now, a host of technological advances, coupled with interest from the U.S. military, may be bringing that vision close to reality.