Today’s Climate: July 2, 2009

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Southern Co. Dominates Climate Lobbying (Center for Public Integrity)

Southern Company, the nation’s largest electric power generator, also had the largest force of lobbyists among the hundreds of businesses and interest groups that were seeking to influence the landmark climate change legislation that just passed the House.

Records Show Exxon Continued Funding Climate Deniers (Guardian)

ExxonMobil, the world’s largest oil company, continued to fund lobby groups that question the reality of global warming, despite a public pledge to cut support for such climate change denial, a new analysis shows.

UN, WTO Call for Trade Shift to Slow Climate Change (EurActiv)

More open trade could lead to growing greenhouse gas emissions if nothing is done to shift "business as usual" trade practices and encourage the exchange of new low-carbon technologies, the WTO and UNEP said in a joint report.

Mayor’s Goal: Coal-Free Los Angeles by 2020 (Mercury News)

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, sworn in for a second term, said he would attempt to eliminate the city’s reliance on coal—which provides 40 percent of its power—by 2020.

U.S., California to Reduce Ship Emissions (Los Angeles Times)

Federal and California regulators are targeting one of the biggest sources of air pollution, big diesel-powered ships. Ocean-going vessels that enter California ports must now switch to fuel with lower sulfur content, and EPA proposed similar rules for U.S.-flagged ships.

WWF: US, Canada Last Among G8 in Curbing Warming (Boston Globe)

With only five months left before a summit on climate change, none of the Group of Eight nations is doing enough to curb global warming, WWF says.

Obama’s Climate Leadership Faces Test at G8 Forum (Reuters)

President Obama faces a foreign test on Climate policy next week at a forum that could boost the chances for a UN pact this year. The U.S. president chairs a meeting of the world’s top greenhouse gas emitters at the G8 summit July 9.

Kerry: Senate Could Pass Climate Bill But Reject Treaty (Bloomberg)

Even if the Senate approves climate legislation, it might not have the 67 votes needed to ratify an international accord incorporating the U.S. commitments, Sen. John Kerry told Bloomberg.

Colorado Drilling Rigs Near ’60s Nuke Site (Denver Post)

After decades of controversy, natural-gas drilling rigs are popping up around the 1969 Rulison atomic blast site south of Rifle — a failed experiment in using a nuclear bomb to boost natural-gas production. A DOE proposal would allow them closer to town.

Exelon Delays Texas Nuclear Plant (AP)

Power generator Exelon Corp. says it has called off plans for now to build a new nuclear plant in Texas because of worries over the economy and the limited availability of federal loan guarantees.

Cleantech Industry Emerging in U.S. South (Cleantech Group)

The South is growing a cleantech industry, with deals including billion-dollar polysilicon plants and stealthy new university spin offs. Tennessee’s governor, Georgia Tech and Oak Ridge National Lab are a few of the reasons.

Handful of Players Seen Ruling Solar Roost (Reuters)

Solar panel makers from California to China are gearing up to capture a slice of the growing U.S. market for utility-scale solar power plants, but just a handful of players are expected to snap up most of the business in the coming years. A Look at the list.

Financial Woes Chill Iceland’s ‘Hydrogen-Based Economy’ (New York Times)

The financial crisis that brought Iceland to the brink of bankruptcy has postponed this volcanic island’s ambitious dream of ditching fossil fuels and transforming itself into the world’s first hydrogen-based economy.

From the Sewage Plant,
The Promise of Biofuel (Yale Environment 360)

Researchers throughout the world are working to produce biofuel from algae. But a few are trying a decidedly novel approach: Using an abundant and freely available source — human waste — to make the fuel of the future while also treating sewage.

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