Today’s Climate: March 3, 2009

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Holdren, Lubchenco Nominations Stalled (Washington Post)

The nominations of two of President Obama’s top science advisers – John Holdren and Jane Lubchenco – have stalled in the Senate, posing a challenge as the administration seeks to frame new policies on climate change.

Cloudy Forecast for LA’s Solar Power Vote (SolveClimate)

Angelenos vote today on Measure B, a plan to install 400 megawatts of solar panels around Los Angeles. Passage is all but assured, with opponents worried that it will handicap the private solar market.

EU Calls on all Nations to Set GHG Targets by Mid-Year (European Voices)

The environment ministers of the 27 EU states re-confirmed their 30% greenhouse gas reduction target and called on other developed countries to come up with plans for emission limitations or reductions no later than the middle of the year.

Some States Picking Economy over Environment (AP)

Environmental protections in several states are on the verge of being repealed in the name of jobs. "The vultures smell blood and they are going to exploit that."

Clean Energy Corps Gains Support (ENS)

More than 80 labor, environmental, civic, and policy organizations have endorsed a proposal to secure America’s economic recovery and environmental health by creating a Clean Energy Corps.

First Solar to Buy Unfinished Projects from OptiSolar (Los Angeles Times)

Stunted by the nation’s credit freeze, troubled OptiSolar has agreed to sell its portfolio of unfinished solar farms to First Solar for $400 million. The projects include a planned 550 MW facility in contract with PG&E to deliver by 2011.

eSolar Signs $30 Million Deal with Indian Tech Co. (Dow Jones)

eSolar announced today that it has signed a $30 million deal with Acme Group to build up to 1,000 megawatts of solar-thermal power plants in India.

No Letup in Calif. War on Emissions (San Diego Union-Tribune)

The state’s Air Resources Board is purposely phasing in regulations to delay the steepest costs for when the economy rebounds, says member Sandra Berg. “The reality is we need to tackle this issue now.”

Ranchers Skeptical of Grassland Carbon Storage (AP)

Wyoming ranchers are expressing skepticism about using their land to help fight global warming. Many see capturing carbon dioxide through grass on their pastures was a way to benefit someone else, not them.

Santos Halts $450 Million Moomba Carbon Storage Plan (Bloomberg)

Australia’s third- biggest oil and gas producer, suspended its Moomba carbon-storage project, a victim of weak government support and plunging prices for permits to release greenhouse gases.

Companies Adding Chief Sustainability Officers (New York Times)

Amid mounting job woes, at least one position seems to be gaining currency: chief sustainability officer. Environmental groups are hopeful accountability structures were become more clear with these executives gaining real influence over businesses.

Tar Sands Group Needs to Face Financial Reality (Financial Post)

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers pushed uncontrolled growth in the tar sands, contributing to rapidly rising costs, and now it’s ignoring environmental signals from the Obama administration, again to the detriment of the industry.

Top Cities for Green Buildings (Daily Green)

More than 3,300 buildings earned Energy Star ratings last year and together saved more than $1.1 billion in energy costs and cut more than 7 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. The top cities for finding these buildings might surprise you.

The Making of The Age of Stupid (Guardian)

Director Franny Armstrong and her team document in this video the lengths they went to – from kidnap threats in Nigeria to ‘crowd-funding’ in London – to make this year’s most talked-about climate change film.