Today’s Climate: April 2, 2009

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GOP Twists Study’s Math on Climate Change Cost (Reuters)

The author of an MIT study, cited by Republicans when they say climate solutions will cost every household $3,100, says the GOP twisted the math. The average cost to U.S. families for controlling emissions is actually $340.

Nature’s Underground Carbon Stores Aren’t Rock Solid (CBC)

CO2 stored underground in nature eventually ends up mainly in fizzy water, not rocks. That could have implications for artificial carbon capture and storage projects, a study in the journal Nature says.

Rep. Van Hollen Offers Cap & Cash Back Plan (Huffington Post)

President Obama had a smart version of cap-and-cash back in his budget, with a 100% auction and a big middle-class tax credit. Yesterday, Rep. Chris Van Hollen offered similar legislation.

Dems Help Ban Budget Reconciliation Vote on Climate Change (The Hill)

More than two-dozen Senate Democrats crossed the aisle to vote to ban the use of the controversial budget reconciliation process to make it easier to pass climate change legislation.

Europe’s Carbon Trading Shows Signs of Success (New York Times)

Last year, emissions of global-warming gases dropped between 4 and 6 percent across Europe, according to a report by Point Carbon, a market analysis firm.

Clean-Tech Venture Financing Plunges (Wired)

Green tech is getting hit by the broad economic downturn and lack of investment money. Two analysis find venture investments in clean technology are down as much as 48 percent in the first quarter of 2009, compared with a year earlier.

Rich Urged to Make Deeper CO2 Cuts (Reuters)

China, India and other developing nations joined forces on Wednesday to urge rich countries to make far deeper cuts in greenhouse gas emissions than planned by 2020 to slow global warming.

French Energy Exec Accused of Spying on Greenpeace (Guardian)

A senior executive of the French state energy giant EDF, which now owns the main UK nuclear power operator British Energy, has been charged on suspicion of spying on the environmental group Greenpeace.

Climate Change Fears For Deadly Virus Outbreaks in Livestock (Science Daily)

Global warming could have chilling consequences for European livestock. Rising temperatures over the past decade have led to outbreaks of bluetongue that have killed over 2 million ruminants.

Coal Plant to Reinvent Itself with Cleaner Fuel (Columbus Dispatch)

Facing a court deadline, FirstEnergy says it will convert an Ohio power plant to renewable-energy sources instead of pollution-producing coal. The move would make it one of the largest "biomass" facilities in the nation.

NRC Prolongs Life of Oldest US Nuclear Reactor (New York Times)

The federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission voted to allow the Oyster Creek nuclear reactor in New Jersey to operate for another 20 years, rejecting claims made by opponents about risk. The reactor’s steel lines has been corroded by rust.

Gov. Wants Tennessee to Borrow to Get Green (Tennessean)

The state of Tennessee could borrow tens of millions of dollars to make its buildings greener under a new legislative initiative Gov. Phil Bredesen. The proposal includes bonds that would be repaid with savings on energy bills.

Report: Climate Change May Cost California Billions (Reuters)

The report, a summary of 37 climate change studies, is the latest in a series that America’s most populous state publishes every few years, adding detail as it goes. "As you fill in the detail, the whole gets worse," one author says.

Alarm Ringing Again for W.Va. Coal Industry (West Virginia Media)

Did West Virginia hit the snooze button 10 years ago when it was warned about coal? The industry’s difficulties are raise questions again about the economic impact – and the state’s future.

Google Maps Green Energy Zones (Fortune)

Can Google help defuse a simmering green civil war between renewable energy advocates and wildlife conservationists in the American West? That’s the idea behind a new Google Earth mapping project launched by the NRDC and Audubon Society.